My Poem on Fickle Muses “Sisyphus Ponders Escape”
My poem, “Sisyphus Ponders Escape,” went up on Fickle Muses’ site today. Fickle Muses is ending publication soon, and I am honored to have work published there before the site’s long run comes to an end. While I’m sorry to see the site coming to a close, I can appreciate the deep commitment that has sustained Fickle Muses thus far at the same time I as understand the need for one chapter to end so that another can begin.
If You Were Sisyphus
Often we think ourselves trapped — by life, other people, commitments, hopes, challenges…and by forces we can’t even conceptualize. Forces which we could never have imagined would bring themselves to act on our lives. And we think there is little we can do about our situation.
I’m not sure that’s always true.
There’s plenty of times we can’t control anything except our own actions and reactions.
But many times, we can do more, if we only believe it is possible.
If you were Sisyphus, trapped in unending torment for something you were only a little sorry to have done, what would you think? Would you think you had any control? The punishment is intended to take control away, replace control with unending effort and drudgery at someone else’s whim.
Bad enough that the various problems and circumstances of life seem to go on forever. But what if the punishment for trying to control events beyond your allowed scope doesn’t just seem but actually goes on forever? That’s the situation Sisyphus is in.
The modern notion of punishment is that it is intended to rehabilitate the one who is punished. In the case of Sisyphus, there is no allowance for the potential of redemption. No possibility of parole, no time served for good behavior.
Sisyphus rightly knows that, unless he acts on behalf of himself, the endless repetition of punishment will continue. No one is coming to rescue him. If he wants out, he must engineer the escape himself.
That’s what this poem is about.
Is there more?
Some of you probably know that I am working on a collection of Sisyphus-related poems. The collection is shaping up nicely. While I’d like to say it will be ready for this winter, I’m not completely sure about that.
Thanks to Fickle Muses for the publication! Enjoy!