Cyphers Magazine


Publishing poetry, prose and art since 1975

O’Neill, Shelley, Prometheus

By Lawrence Dugan

Her paper to a dozen of us, a lady
From Texas before the MLA at last,
Quoting O’Neill’s characters remembering
Their days at sea. So she should have, for who
Better to feel the vastness of the sea
At night than a teacher from the southern
Plains, able to toss aside the furious
Mask of a storm to see the orderly
Black centre, the peace that controls it all.
From Prometheus nailed to a rock
In the Asian caucuses to a conference
Room in Philadelphia, the students
Scribble notes as the small lady describes
Young Tyrone telling old of the Southern
Cross seen for the first time on the sea lanes
Down to Argentina. Then she quotes someone
Quoting Shelley’s fire-bearer as if she
Were standing beneath the constellation;
For she herself has endured to reach this
Hotel meeting room, far from the southern
Plains where they wait for the lady’s return.

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