Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Other Flight

The Fall of Icarus, 17th century, Musée Antoine Vivenel

Three Word Wednesday gives us the following words:

Adapt; verb: Make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify; become adjusted to a new condition; alter (a text) to make it suitable for filming, broadcasting or the stage.

Glide; verb: Move with a smooth continuous motion, typically with little noise; fly through the air with very little movement of the wings; noun: A smooth continuous movement.

Lie; verb: (of a person or animal) be in or assume a horizontal or resting position on a supporting surface; be, remain, or be kept in a specified state; noun: The way, direction, or position in which something lies.

Wiki says: In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall to his death. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of Phaëton — both are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambition — and is often depicted in art. Today, the Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after Icarus, who is seen as the mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the skies.

Icarus's father, Daedalus, a talented and remarkable Athenian craftsman, attempted to escape from his exile in the palace of Knossos, Crete, where he and his son were imprisoned at the hands of King Minos, the king for whom he had built the Labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur (half man, half bull). Daedalus, the superior craftsman, was exiled because he gave Minos' daughter, Ariadne, a clew (or ball of string) in order to help Theseus, the enemy of Minos, survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur.

The Myth:
Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos. It also has been said he flew too close to the sea and the feathers got wet, no longer working due to added weight.

Hellenistic writers give euhemerising ( Christopher's note: eu·he·mer·ism, n. A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.
[After Euhemerus, fourth-century b.c. Greek philosopher.] )variants in which the escape from Crete was actually by boat, provided by Pasiphaë, for which Daedalus invented the first sails, to outstrip Minos' pursuing galleys, and that Icarus fell overboard en route to Sicily and drowned. Heracles erected a tomb for him.

The Other Flight

"I'll adapt your face
to my fist", he said to me,
cold bitter venom voiced.

I lept from the edge
stretching out to glide on wings,
feathers and wax framed,
fastened to my back.

He stood, shaking with fury.
He believes I'll lie
with his lover soon,
that I've stolen her. He's right.
She's waiting for me.

Written just now for 3WW,
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 6:58 PM

Now click on "Three Word Wednesday" at the top of this post and go there for all the other postings.


  1. THAT was an accident. I would have never kicked my son there had I known it was him bent over like that looking over the ledge.

    stupid light achromatic properties, I could have sworn his sash draped over his shoulder was orange.

    I did feel bad when I realized what had happened. Ike! if you can hear me down there I swear that was not me you heard giggling, once I saw it was you I did literally cry.

    I guess this is for the best because had it really been God that I kicked in the ding ding and caused him to fall the landing may have been more eventful (in a bad way) But on the other hand we would not have been subjected to Chris's extremely stupid sounding giggle

    I know , I know , trust me I know son I am on my way to the store to get q-tips rights now, but I think that horrible giggle will not be able to be washed from our hears.

    this is all my fault son, I am sorry

  2. I am completely joking Christopher. I just get confused, I did not mean any slighting of your laugh. I just tried to use the words without saying them.

    I should have closed with "this was an awesome post Christopher, thank you" and then a smiley emoticon (but only because there is no noharm punch in the arm emoticon)

  3. Well, perhaps the fist in the face and the fall is worth it..a clever and fun flight of fancy..Jae

  4. Jae, thanks for coming by. He's avoided the fist but then oops! Things never quite work as intended. I don't think this guy fell from the sky. His fall is the entangled life he is living. This is a story, of course. I am far too old now to be engaged in this sort of thing.

    I have never had wings of feathers and wax but I have had a complicated love life before. Right now I live alone except for frequent visits from a neighbor cat and food bill and scratches to proove it.

  5. A great deal of fun, all the way through, even in the comments. Nice one!

  6. Altonian, I know colorful people. What can I say?

    Sheilagh, umm yes...everyone in the poem is rather more human than saint, I guess.

  7. One of my favourite paintings of all time is Pieter Brueghel the Elder's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus":

    I hope that her searing sunlight did not melt the lover's waxy wings as your metaphor implies...

  8. Nicholas, I am afraid so. This kind of thing has a half life, is radioactive.

  9. A very good story. The first line is fun.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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