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The Daedalus Files Front Cover


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The Daedalus Files by Mandy Pannett

 The nature of monstrosity and how scientific invention can be used for good or ill; the humiliation of women, loss and betrayal, the need for refuge and the urge for flight - these are all explored in the sequence of poems that make up 'The Daedalus Files'. But who was Daedalus? In the Greek myth he was a heart-broken father, creating wings that led to the drowning of his son, Icarus. But he was also a designer of statues that seemed lifelike and a labyrinth for the minotaur, a hybrid beast. Twists inside your soul/are well concealed. Was Daedalus inventor or villain? The Daedalus Files is a new book of poetry by Mandy Pannett - author of All the Invisibles, Bee Purple, Frost Hollow and  Jongleur in the Courtyard.                                                           


Mandy Pannett weaves a fascinating story, complex and tender as she uncoils the thread that leads us into the labyrinth. Each poem is polished and perfected, smoothly linking one facet to another in a feat of poetic engineering. I love the variety of form and the precision of language.

A magical and moving collection.

            - Jocelyn Simms

I love the ways that grief is evoked in these poems. The brutality of seemingly casual knocks of destiny jolts me into a world so different from myth, a world that has universal and yet singular relevance to the human condition today. A uniquely beautiful, perfectly crafted sequence.

          - Valerie Bridge

In these poems, Mandy Pannett uses the myth of Daedalus in order to ask whether the human potential for invention contains within it seeds of destruction. Offering no easy answers, her poems press for imaginative engagement: winding like paths in Daedalus's labyrinth, they take us from sources of creative energy to the act of invention, then to the price which must be paid.

          - Judith Cair

The Daedalus Files is a chilling exposition of contemporary issues using myth to reveal them: child-trafficking, refugees bundling into inadequate craft, the obsession to create war weapons including a "noxious virus", robotics, unsafe experiments. These are disturbing poems cleverly disguised in the cloak of a story, the monster always lurking in them. Remarkable writing.

         - Gill McEvoy


Strange Things, Maker

Twists inside your soul

are well concealed.


You perfect an outward

show, that of a rude


mechanical, an extraordinary maker

of strange things – fantastic


to men of Rhodes who watch, amazed,

as statues yawn, step


off platforms, flexing necks,

sluggards too long in their sloth


or elderly couch-potatoes

stiff from over-slump.


Daedalus, it is recorded

that one word from you and these statues


turned into robots in Grecian cloth

with eyeballs that altered from marble


to jelly, from blank

to the blue of the sea.


And these your creations

then breathed in gulps of waterside air and sang


in rusty, clockwork tones

at the rise and set of the sun.


Are you proud of them

your automata


or is it all too easy for you,

transitory and insignificant?

Question: Sweetness and the Spark

At what point, Daedalus, does a toxin

get created from scratch, a cure for cancer

or ebola lost in the push for a noxious

virus, bombs in the desert financed

by those who declare that the end must

always justify the means and only mugs

count the bodies, count the devilish cost?

Was the technical sweetness a drug?

You should have noticed the birdless trees,

the unsplashing fish rivers, the cold bees.   


Or were you in love with the spark, an incident

in prehistory’s gloom, a sudden cry of pain

when two stones were accidentally

struck together and so made a flame.

Did it burn for a while, that first hot brand,

then sink into ash with the skill quite lost

for millennia of winds until, at random,

it occurred again, fire – and the later dust

from the witch on the pyre, the pilot

in the burning cage. Tell me, was it worth it?

Product details

  • Publisher : SPM Publications (15 Mar. 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1916226353
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1916226357
  • Dimensions : 12.7 x 0.25 x 20.29 cm



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