I’m not sutured well in this
afterlife—made of songs that
disperse on wind, the bloodied
floor where the Minotaur danced
Paul Hetherington’s long prose poem Íkaros crafts from the myth of the same name, a unique inspiration and imagination spanning multiple layers of time and consciousness, incorporating memory and dreamscapes into an exceptionally potent exploration of a journey through to self-awareness. Central to the myth of Íkaros and to this collection is the relationship between father and son portrayed by Hetherington with exquisite honesty and tenderness, at once explorative and elegiac. His vision’s complexity is expressed in clear, honed language, its fresh imagery enabling a rare and compassionate depth of insight. This is a painterly, highly visual and visceral work with compelling underlying cadences and rhythms. Hetherington gifts the reader with “a necklace of words; utterances like waves and beach-tossed stones” and a telling capacity to listen closely and to see clearly.
Paul Hetherington fires myth into bright tiles of language, which are here shaped into a dazzling mosaic that reflects the glimmer of centuries. Surfaces flash and shift, but behind the shimmy in a mirror of air lie immutable patterns, hard truths.
—Professor Oz Hardwick, Leeds Trinity University
From the Afterword:
Whereas Robert Graves in The Greek Myths tries to find the origins and significance of ancient mythological stories in spiritual and cultural practices belonging to the distant past, I am interested in the contemporary resonances and ramifications of such mythologies and the way in which, as they persist through time, they accrete new meanings.