Icarus Picture

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Slip off the husk of gravity to lie
Bedded with wind; float on a whimsy, lift
Upon a wish: your bow’s own arrow, rift
Newton’s decorum—only when you fly.
But naked. No false-feathered fool, you try
Dalliance with heights, nor, plumed with metal, shift
And shear the clouds, imperiling lark and swift
And all birds bridal-bowered in the sky.
Your wreck of bone, barred their delight’s dominions,
Lacking their formula for flight, holds imaged
Those alps of air no eagle’s wing can quell.
With arms flung crosswise, pinioned to wooden pinions,
You in one motion, plucked the crimson-plumaged,
Outsoar all Heaven, plummeting all Hell.
~The New Icarus By Vassar Miller 1956

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