Orpheus in the world above

orpheus and eurydice

Once I thought I’d knit the world back up,
Heroically—another Orpheus, but one
With lyre self-sacrificially unstrung
And husbanding for thread my lengths of gut.
So in my time I’ve darned a few loose ends
Inexpertly, leaving the places
Where the brittle cloth had frayed
Still all too visible. Still, mended.
Confessedly I took the greater care
Near home, not wanting to slip out
Of the world myself through a thin spot.
And if I went wrong it was there:

Narrowly tending to the world above,
Where the real Orpheus chose to harrow hell for love.

 

 

Image: detail of Auguste Rodin’s Orpheus and Eurydice (modeled probably before 1887, carved 1893).

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