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   d a e d a l u s    a n d    i c a r u s

--- Z B I G N I E W   H E R B E R T

Translated by Marek Lugowski

Daedalus says:

Go on sonny but remember that you are walking and not flying the wings are just an ornament and you are stepping on a meadow that warm gust is just the humid earth of summer and that cold one is a brook the sky is full of leaves and small animals

Icarus says:

The eyes like two stones return straight to earth and see a farmer who knocks asunder oily till a grub which wiggles in a furrow bad grub which cuts the bond of a plant with the earth

Daedalus says:

Sonny this is not true The Cosmos is merely light and earth is a bowl of shadows Look as here colors play dust rises from above the sea smoke rises to the sky of noblest atoms a rainbow sets itself now

Icarus says:

Arms hurt father from this beating at vacuum legs are getting numb and miss thorns and sharp stones I cannot keep looking at the sun as you do father I sunken whole in the dark rays of the earth

Description of the catastrophe:

Now Icarus falls down head first the last frame of him is a glimpse of a heal childlike small being swallowed by the devouring sea Up above the father cries out the name which no longer belongs to a neck or a head but only to a remembrance


He was so young did not understand that wings are just a metaphor a bit of wax and feathers and a contempt for the laws of gravitation I cannot hold a body at an elevation of a great many feet The essence of the matter is in having our hearts which are coursed by heavy blood fill with air and this very thing Icarus did not want to accept

let us pray

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