Discover → Poetry

Still, the Sky


Must read 🏆

A stunning and special collection of speculative mythology exploring the coming-of-age of Icarus and Asterion.

Still, the Sky by Tom Pearson is a truly special collection. Perhaps it is being a Classics graduate but Pearson's speculative mythology, with Icarus and Asterion (the Minotaur) at the centre, is a beautiful re-imagining of myth. Pearson reminds us of the sheer romantic power of mythology but also sculpts and shapes it; as myth is always meant to be used. It is a medium with which the human race have always played and created.

Much like Madeline Miller's contemporary retelling of Achilles' and Circe's narratives, Pearson's collection of poetry, artifacts, ecofacts and ephemera, weaves together what we know of Minoan Crete and what we do not. Pearson draws upon the work of scholars, Ovid's Metamorphoses and the city of Venice to breathe new life into the labyrinthine relationships between Icarus and his father, Icarus and the Minotaur, as well as the arrival of Theseus and his success with the aid of Ariadne.

The artifacts, gorgeously rendered photographically in this collection, provide us with an insight into the wondered life of Asterion. He collects the carcasses of bees and bottles up shards of bone; the bibelots of a creature written off as a beast by Western mythology, imbuing him with life, sympathy and love. Pearson's portrayal of Asterion is enchanting, evoking a missing softness in the literary canon.

The verse is heady with the fractures splitting across the relationship between father and son - with Daedalus' actions and absence running quietly through the collection. I particularly enjoyed Pearson's choice of Sapphic verse. This is what made it reminiscent of The Song of Achilles, for me. There was something forbidden and foreboding lurking in each stanza - encapsulating the bittersweet of coming-of-age and relationship between two young men, lost in what connects them and severs them in the end.

A feat of brilliance in my eyes; Still, the Sky is a must-have collection masterfully marrying the past with the present.

Reviewed by

I am a writer and freelance editor/proofreader based in the UK. I have self-published two poetry collections (Between the Trees and Flowers on the Wall). I enjoy reviewing poetry, short stories, literary fiction and historical fiction. I am the Editor-in-Chief for Free Verse Revolution magazine.

About the author

I work in theater, dance, film, poetry and multi-media visual art. I’m mostly known for my original works for theater, including the long-running immersive theater hits Then She Fell and The Grand Paradise, and as a co-director of the NYC-based Third Rail Projects and Global Performance Studio. view profile

Published on May 21, 2022

Published by

20000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by