by Massimo Soranzio

Were I a mythical hero
(Just to play with that idea,)
Old Ulysses would be my man:
The old King Tennyson showed us,
Bored and restless, seeking knowledge,
Strong in will, never giving up.

Prometheus, my second choice,
Might also do: not Milton’s though,
But Shelley’s dramatic Titan,
Untamed and wild, seeking justice,
Bravely opposing Jupiter,
Showing bullies can’t always win.

Yet . . .

I am no Prometheus,
No mythical hero at all,
No, neither am I Ulysses:
I’m just the odd Prufrock, or Bloom,
Or Brueghel’s naïve Icarus
Who falls unheeded to his doom.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Myth to me is a story told and retold by poets, recycled and reinvented each time . . . If I think of a mythical hero, say Ulysses, for instance, my mind starts mixing up a number of versions of his story I have read, or seen: Homer, Dante, Tennyson, Joyce, an old Italian black and white TV series . . .

IMAGE: “The Fall of Icarus” by Marc Chagall (1975).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Massimo Soranzio writes on the northern Adriatic coast of Italy, about 20 miles from Trieste. He teaches English as a foreign language and English literature in a high school, and has been a journalist, a translator, and a freelance lecturer on Modernist literature and literary translation. He posts some of his found and constraint-based poetry on his blog,