Prospero Declines

There is, I admit, no small attraction in the possession

Of the wand—but invariably that becomes obsession,

For magic bewitches all it touches, and woe to the man

Who, having discerned its methods and secrets, believes he can

Employ it yet stay unfettered and unscathed, without effect,

(As if the mere claim of enchantment would not make one suspect

Both the man and his motives), all sweet fruit without bitter rind.

Such men may find the verdict of peers and gods to be unkind,

For who among us remains impervious to Nature’s whims

Or time’s ravages—our concentration wanes, the eyesight dims,

Our hands shake, every bit as unsteady as our convictions.

So we carry on, with our exceptions and contradictions

Expertly hidden, in the hopes that, at least for a short while,

We can offset, through the use of parlor tricks, cunning, and guile,

The diminution of our gifts, fading of our faculties.

So, as we reach our denouement, what have our abilities

Brought us in the end, save the knowledge that our reputations,

No matter how great, will be no match for our limitations?


4 thoughts on “Prospero Declines

  1. I think there is a little of Prospero in every man (woman) – the need to control, direct, enhance and even find some small measure of revenge. It takes a lot to say: I’ll drown my book!

  2. There is a lot to think about in this poem. I love your opening lines about the possession of the wand……..and then we start our slow downhill slide. Intriguing write!

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