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Translator's Note: Paolo Febbraro

I’m drawn to this cameo less for the moral than for the rich ambiguity of the fable. On first reading, I saw it chiefly as a poem of grief, saw the father’s casting of a line into the river—which, swollen with snowmelt, must bear with it at least the memory of the son and perhaps his actual body—as a morbid and even pathetic but also tender attempt to recover the irrecoverable. Think of the skier as Icarus, the father as Daedalus trawling the Mediterranean.

But that presumes a sympathetic rather than agonistic father-son relationship—a presumption which, if we do think of the Greeks, we might reconsider. Indeed when I asked the poet about this poem, the Greek father he mentioned was not Daedalus but Cronus. —Geoffrey Brock


This poem originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2012

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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