Anthony Evan Hecht
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.
Anthony Evan Hecht's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Chorus From Oedipus At Colonos by Anthony Evan Hecht )
Did you read them?
- I, the Poet-Seer, Emmanuel George Cefai
- Desperation does what long years Do not .., Emmanuel George Cefai
- The Clock Is Fast Turning, Emmanuel George Cefai
- Emotions occurrences, Emmanuel George Cefai
- The same going round and round, Emmanuel George Cefai
- Stately, Emmanuel George Cefai
- To savor of Fame, Emmanuel George Cefai
- The Poet had a blank face, Emmanuel George Cefai
- Not happy, Emmanuel George Cefai
- The same, Emmanuel George Cefai
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- 1914 V: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Learn to Live, Roopa Menon
- Not Waving but Drowning, Stevie Smith
- Alone, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Heather Burns
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)