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.