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A poem to celebrate the bi-centenary of ‘Prometheus

Unbound’ by PB Shelley:

 

 

We always want slightly more than our share,

whether it’s food, or perceived liberty

and we, like Prometheus, play tricks,

but gods fore-know what is our little game.

 

Everyone wants to live in Mecone,

in a Golden Age of wealth, abundance,

with a personal cornucopia;

or to be on the same standing as gods –

expressing a modicum of Free Will;

able to question who has sovereignty.

 

The problem with challenging Order is,

it often involves (slight) deceit.

Liberty!  Desirable; dangerous!

 

There is shame in personal ownership:

else, why do we hide sparks in fennel stalks,

or in off-shore tax havens, for that matter?

The flames of liberty need to be fed.

They will consume us, as they are consumed.

 

Demeter found there was a compromise.

Persephone, you lied.  You were not forced

to eat pomegranate seed.  You screamed rape.

Pandora, with a thief’s temperament,

you actually had the soul of a bitch.

 

Is it better to reign in Hell, or serve

in Heaven?  Prometheus, your attempt

just raises the age-old dichotomy:

liberty / licence.  Where is the balance?

Some can subsist on sacrificial smoke;

Titans and men require sustenance:

labour, nourishment and nobility.