Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Eagle

Bestiary-blogging, entry 5 of 9

Three years ago, my son Terry and I wrote a young adult fantasy novel called The Poem Beasts. It is currently submitted for consideration at a major publisher. In honor of the opening of the movie of The Hunger Games, a major work in the young adult genre, we offer a taste of our work—nine days of the poems of The Poem Beasts.

The Eagle

"Eagle" woodblock print by Terry Price.

The raptor rides on the roaring winds
An eagle in flight with flaming feathers of red
Prometheus breaks beneath his bloodstained beak
Voracious reaver with vicious claws
Sent by Jupiter’s fury, daily feasting on immortal flesh
Tormenting the Titan bound for eternity
Beautiful to behold and as bold as the gods
The entrusted enactor of Jupiter’s enmity and false justice
Is doomed to duel to a pre-ordained death
The mightiest hero of history, the sky king’s son, Hercules

Historical Background:
The eagle and the bull are the two most important animal symbols of Zeus (known as Jupiter in Roman times). When Prometheus stole fire from Olympus to give to humanity, Zeus grew enraged and had the disobedient Titan bound to a rock at the end of the earth, apparently located in the Caucasus Mountains. Each day, an eagle would come to peck out Prometheus’ liver and each night his liver would regenerate. The intention was for this torture to continue into eternity. He was eventually freed by Heracles (Roman name: Hercules) who slew him with an arrow given to him by Apollo. According to the playwright Aeschylus, Heracles prayed, “May hunter Apollo speed my arrow straight!”

Heracles, Prometheus, and the Eagle from a Krater
(a large two-handled bowl), circa 625-575 BC, in the
collection of the National Museum, Athens, Greece.

© 2012 Lee and Terry Price  


  1. Enjoying the combination of poems and woodcuts very much. Ever read Tennyson's The Eagle? It is a very brief poem but intense in its effect.

  2. Yes, I like that! It fits right in with our theme. I think it's okay to quote it here in full:

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
    Close to the sun in lonely lands,
    Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

    The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
    He watches from his mountain walls,
    And like a thunderbolt he falls.