Fall 1981 • Vol. III No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1981 |

Ariel

      after reading Shakespeare's "Tempest"    Once, somewhere, somehow, you had set him free with that sharp jolt which as a young man tore you out of your life and vaulted you to greatness. Then he grew willing; and, since then, he serves, after each task impatient for his freedom. And half imperious, half almost ashamed, you make excuses, say that you still need him for thus and such, and, ah, you must recount how you have helped him. Yet you feel, yourself, how everything held back by his detention is missing from the air. How sweet, how tempting: to let him go—to give up all your magic, submit yourself to destiny like the others, and know that his light friendship, without strain now, with no more obligations, anywhere, an intensifying of this space you breathe, is working in the element, thoughtlessly. Henceforth dependent, never again empowered to shape the torpid mouth into that call at which he dived. Defenseless, ageing, poor, and yet still breathing h

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By Paul Smyth

      after reading Shakespeare's "Tempest"    Once, somewhere, somehow, you had set him free with that sharp jolt which as a young man tore you out of your life and vaulted […]

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