Waiting for Icarus

He said he would be back and we’d drink wine together
He said that everything would be better than before
He said we were on the edge of a new relation
He said he would never again cringe before his father
He said that he was going to invent full-time
He said he loved me that going into me
He said was going into the world and the sky
He said all the buckles were very firm
He said the wax was the best wax
He said Wait for me here on the beach
He said Just don’t cry

I remember the gulls and the waves
I remember the islands going dark on the sea
I remember the girls laughing
I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me
I remember mother saying: Inventors are like poets, a trashy lot
I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse
I remember she added: Women who love such are the worst of all
I have been waiting all day, or perhaps longer.
I would have liked to try those wings myself.
It would have been better than this.

– Muriel Rukeyser


This poem reminded me of this poem by Auden, and led me to discover this poem by Williams. There’s something very compelling to us about the myth of Icarus, just like the myth of Prometheus. Perhaps it’s a need to strive for me, perhaps it’s as a warning of what happens to those who get too close to the Gods, a warning of the dangers of that concept of Greek tragedy, hubris.
We’ve run a poem by Rukeyser on the site before.
You can read more about her here, here, and here.

1 Trackbacks

You can leave a trackback using this URL: https://noparenthesis.org/waiting-for-icarus/trackback/

  1. By Yes – Fiat Camena on July 8, 2012 at 08:14

    […] rewards slowing down and re-reading. We’ve run other poems by Muriel Rukeyser on this site here and […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *