Ideas and Connections, mythology, Poetry


And so it happens that my friend Heather is working on an oil paintings series of 6 canvases on Icarus, and I cannot wait to see the whole series. What I want, it’s to see my friend’s paintings on display in a gallery, where they belong. Time will make that possible, I have no doubt. My girls were saying that they want to be like Heather, my oldest said that soon she’ll be famous, and my youngest added that it’ll be so wonderful to say she knows her.

Who is Icarus? We read about him and his father Dedalus today. This is the text. Bulfinch usually adds some poem or fragment of a poem that depicts that legend or mythological character, and today the poem was a section by “Darwin”,

The death of Icarus is told in the following lines by Darwin:

“…with melting wax and loosened strings
Sunk hapless Icarus on unfaithful wings;
Headlong he rushed through the affrighted air,
With limbs distorted and dishevelled hair;
His scattered plumage danced upon the wave,
And sorrowing Nereids decked his watery grave;
O’er his pale corse their pearly sea-flowers shed,
And strewed with crimson moss his marble bed;
Struck in their coral towers the passing bell,
And wide in ocean tolled his echoing knell.”

I copied it into my common place book.

I thought I had no idea Theory of Species Darwin wrote poetry, and I realized it wasn’t his poem, but his grandfather’s, Erasmus Darwin. Here is the poem in full.

After we read it, my oldest daughter chose to write a narration of this myth. My youngest said that’s the myth in the “fly on your way like an eagle song”. I have sang that part numerous times, but I never paid attention to the rest of the lyrics, and I found it’s a song by Iron Maiden called, “Flight of Icarus” (of course!). Before I had my current phone, I had an old phone I inherited from my husband, and I kept the ringtone. I loved it. It was this song, you guessed it. Nobody had that ringtone that I knew! It was notorious, ha ha ha, but I loved it, it started with a “yea eeh yeah, fly, on your way, like an eagle”. And to me, not knowing that it was about Icarus, I always thought about this other song, “Saint Lift Your Voices”, because it says, “soar like an eagle on wings of light”.

It’s a rich life, full of ideas and beauty!

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