Almanac (Prose) Poetry: After Reading Ovid’s ‘Dedalus’


Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1560 (oil on canvas) by Bruegel, Pieter the Elder (c.1525-69); 73.5×112 cm; Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium.



After Reading Ovid’s ‘Dedalus’


Dedalus, in the popular imagination, is a kindly old bloke, bearded, grey-haired, a bit of a whiz at inventing things – a bloody genius, really, to design that labyrinth. The story is widely known of how, to escape from Minos in Crete, he built wings for himself and Icarus his son. A good father, also, he warned the boy not to fly too high or the wax would run like oil and he’d plunge into the sea, which of course is what the stupid kid did – teenagers are so irresponsible. Sad and broken, Dedalus reached Sicily, where he saw a talking partridge that reminded him of a terrible crime he’d committed back in Athens: in a fit of jealous rage, he murdered his clever twelve-year-old nephew by throwing him down a flight of stairs. Decidedly not the action, I’m sure we’d all agree, of a fuzzy, warm old guy.




(Acknowledgements: first published in my fourth poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, Ginninderra Press, 2020.)



Read more from Kevin Densley HERE


Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE


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Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, was published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.

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