David Lucas’s poem “About Suffering–,” is beautiful, both lyrically and visually. Lucas uses metaphors to paint pictures in our minds, bringing life and depth to actions and emotions.
There are no stanza breaks in this poem; it’s a continuous block of verse, flowing from one line to the next. Some lines contain more than one sentence and some have sentences that start on one line and finish on the next. Lucas’s style works well for the concept of this poem, creating a continuous stream of unbroken thought. This ties in with the speaker’s lament, that we are not like Icarus. “It’s never him. His father, Daedalus–/he’s our muse, bent to an unforgiving craft/in someone else’s labyrinth, the dark/exile in which he sets himself to work:” It’s “about suffering;” its about the loss of youth and its bold unashamed and unfettered lifestyle. We age and become fettered by responsibility.
The turning point of this poem comes at the end, on the third to last line. “At last he sleeps,” the poem reads, and the reader feels a sense of relief, and peace. “…in fits and half-dreamed fears/that love, and work, and life are passing vapor,/and all the wings he’s made he’s made of paper.”