The Wax at the Bottom of the Box

The Curse That Remained (Written August 14, 2017)

Hope is not a thing with feathers-
Unless it is wings with wax held together
That, when foolishly flown too close to the sun,
Melt apart and totally come undone.

Hope was the curse in Pandora’s box
Too terrible to be carelessly packed at the top,
So when the box was opened and the others escaped away
Hope was the final curse that alone was left to stay.

It isn’t a blessing that hope stayed inside,
We don’t see it as it is when so carefully it hides.
The rest we know for what they are and so have grown to fear,
But hope foolish little we are afraid might dissappear.

Icarus was deceived by Pandora’s box and what it left behind
So he set off with an eager heart to find what he might find.
His hope was in his wings which he thought would let him fly
And that hope, that foolish hope, left him to fall and die.


I’m not actually all that pessimistic, really. I’m just in a bad mood. It isn’t, really, that I think hope is a curse. False hope is, though. Foolish hope is. So I try not to hope in transient and mundane things. I’ve gotten very good at having little to no expectations of things in my life. Inevitably, though, they manage to creep in; and, inevitably, they manage to disappoint me.

Has anyone else ever thought about the story of Pandora’s box and wondered at its ending? The box with all the curses and plagues of mankind that too curious Pandora was told never to open. She opened the box and the terrors were released, but she managed to close it before everything could escape- hope remained. 

Theoretically, this is supposed to mean that, no matter what afflictions mankind suffers, hope remains. This is supposed to be the silver lining. But…if hope is supposed to be a good thing, why was it included in the box of curses in the first place? I sometimes, when I’m feeling pessimistic, think that what the story really means is that hope is the curse we harbor inside ourselves, the curse we cling on to, the curse we are deceived by. 

But this is just me, in a bad mood, being upset at unanswered hope. It isn’t really so dismal, probably, if you look at it with an honest perspective.


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