Friday, 28 May 2010

Crime and Punishment

When I was in Primary school a group of schoolgirls, myself included, committed the heinous crime of venturing out on to the playing field during morning break. Apparently we had been told not to and so were severely punished for our transgressions. The punishment took the form of having to recite a poem from memory. Thanks to the internet I now know both the author and name of that poem, which still echoes in my mind today. It is called The Eagle and is by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, coincidentally the author of one of my favourite poems: The Lady of Shalott I feel a rare affinity with that eagle. Like him, I know what it is to be standing on the edge of the abyss. However, unlike my feathered friend, the thunderbolt descent of this modern day Icarus would merely cause the sea to momentarily wrinkle still more as as I vanished beneath its waves.

The Eagle
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

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