TITLE:  Atlas

AUTHOR: Gianna Giusti



Atlas is a poem about the mythic titan from Greek mythology who was doomed to an eternity of holding the sky above the earth. Through the poem I tried to explore the utter desperation of his situation which is one of physical imprisonment. While his burden is heavy and he feels at each second that his physical limits have been reached, his body somehow continues to bear the weight. His constant fear of falling under the weight of the sky is tinged by the sense of relief his failure would bring. He longs for rest, but with each second of fear of failure and subsequent success he maintains his faith.


I cannot do it anymore

cannot cannot, this heaving air

is heavy on my heaving heart

I hear my heart beat hard, my hands

hoist heavens high and higher still

and with each day and with each night

my apathetic muscles strain—

contracted chain of human flesh

perspiring perpetually

and still I strain and struggle while

upon my shoulders rests the sky

beneath my feet the wretched earth

still ebbs and flows as I watch on

myself unchanged and statue like

still feels and feels and feels and feels

and every second I endure

my shouldered sorrow’s substance swells

and every second I endure

a bated breath believing that

my grip will fail my fists will slip

the sky descending—release me.

The world could end if I could end

give in give up, my strength give out

into eternal respite and

fatigue indulged—sweet sweet sweet sleep

but I endure with little hope

that heroes may relieve my soul

my shoulders ache with hot despair

my faith unshaken holds me there.

Comments are closed.