Sorry for going AWOL on you. However, I am back and very much alive. What better way to make this announcement than with a Flashback Friday! For those of you who have hung around this blog long enough, this is nothing new. For the newcomers, however, Flashback Friday is where I post my favourite poems that I’ve read over the years and have been appropriately awed and/or inspired by. There’s also the added bonus of listening to me explain why the particular poem adorns this list. Yay! (not)
Today’s pick is Tithonus by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Here’s why – we’ve all nurtured and harboured dreams of being granted three wishes by an ever-elusive genie at some point of time or the other. It tickles me no end to hear the outrageously preposterous demands people want to make when they can have absolutely anything in the world. I dare say these wishes are the true measure of a man. Tithonus was one such man. He fell in love with Aurora, the Goddess of Dawn. She, in turn, fell in love with him too and took him away from earth to reside with her in her heavenly abode. He asked of her a gift, which she bestowed upon him very kindly indeed. He asked for immortality (isn’t that what most of humanity is striving towards?). but alas! in his haste, he failed to ask for eternal youth too. So, now, he wanders the halls, all aged and wizened and, yet, he cannot die. Talk about eternal damnation wrapped up as a present! I come back to this poem every time I need a reminder of man’s vanity and the to not be too sure of myself – to always think before acting. And, of course, to ‘be careful what you wish for!’
I would also recommend you to pay keen attention to how Lord Tennyson has portrayed dawn in personification. I am in love with that description! I’d never fault Tithonus for falling in love with this side of nature.
Happy reading! please let me know what you think of this poem in the comments section down below.
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair’d shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Tithonus”