Thursday, September 21, 2006

67º 52’ N (A Song of Å)

67º 52’ N (A Song of Å)

The music of the maelstrom is a mirror.
     Reflected in a glassy oval flattened into the sea
by whirling currents and savage tides,
     Helle-bound peaks sing a jagged profile
in the slow Nordland twilight.

Standing waves, the lands of our forebears
     flow into the sea, crest upon crest,
each cape jutting behind and past
     the one that came before
until the tune is lost in the gathering fog.

But turn around and always there is a new melody
     rising raw and pink as the sky at dawn—
the cry of a lone kittiwake, the plaintive chant
     of a Lofoten gale through rigging, the dull
pulse of a diesel engine from beyond the headland.

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Paula said...

Really evocative, Peter. I can't remember the original version, but remember the mood and the imagery.You took me back there.

Rus Bowden said...

Terrific, Peter. Love the language. (This proves you've been to Helle and back, btw.)

Carol said...

You hear a sailor's song and the words jutting and jagged, raw, and plaintive means we get to hear it, too. Thanks.


Aisha said...

Yes, it's there-- !

Did you send it to the Captain?

It is polished as the deceptive calm of the Maelstrom.