Anthony Evan Hecht

(16 January 1923 - 20 October 2004 / New York)

Chorus From Oedipus At Colonos


What is unwisdom but the lusting after
Longevity: to be old and full of days!
For the vast and unremitting tide of years
Casts up to view more sorrowful things than joyful;
And as for pleasures, once beyond our prime,
They all drift out of reach, they are washed away.
And the same gaunt bailiff calls upon us all.
Summoning into Darkness, to those wards
Where is no music, dance, or marriage hymn
That soothes or gladdens. To the tenements of Death.

Not to be born is, past all yearning, best.
And second best is, having seen the light.
To return at once to deep oblivion.
When youth has gone, and the baseless dreams of youth,
What misery does not then jostle man's elbow,
Join him as a companion, share his bread?
Betrayal, envy, calumny and bloodshed
Move in on him, and finally Old Age--
Infirm, despised Old Age--joins in his ruin,
The crowning taunt of his indignities.

So is it with that man, not just with me.
He seems like a frail jetty facing North
Whose pilings the waves batter from all quarters;
From where the sun comes up, from where it sets,
From freezing boreal regions, from below,
A whole winter of miseries now assails him,
Thrashes his sides and breaks over his head.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Form:


Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: marriage, dance, winter, music, death, sun, light, dream

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Chorus From Oedipus At Colonos by Anthony Evan Hecht )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. Love After Love, Derek Walcott
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. I wish I was Blind, Reagan A. Latumbo
  2. Saint Michael, Saiom Shriver
  3. Reflections on Divorce, Phil Soar
  4. Mute Swan, Phil Soar
  5. Back Pockets, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. TENSED ACKNOWLEDEMENT, john chizoba vincent
  7. The Fly, Phil Soar
  8. Story Of Loneliness, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. Sea, Phil Soar
  10. A Prayer For My Love, Michael P. McParland
[Hata Bildir]