Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Final voyage of the North Ship

"The current rate of shrinkage they calculate at 8% per decade; at this rate there may be no ice at all during the summer of 2060." BBC News, Arctic ice 'disappearing quickly'

"I thought it would last my time"
Philip Larkin, Going, going


"I saw three ships go sailing by
Over the sea, the lifting sea
And the wind rose in the morning sky
And one was rigged for a long journey"
Philip Larkin, The North Ship



One sailed towards a northern place
Over the sea, the rising sea
But of the ice there was no trace
Although they searched most wearily

One sailed to the Antarctic pole
Over the sea, the dying sea
To measure the size of the ozone hole
Growing bigger annually

The third sailed for a western shore
Over the sea, the angry sea
It had gone, like Atlantis before
So it returned unhappily

The ships voyaged to and fro
Over the sea, the landless sea
Watching out for a new rainbow
To signify God's mercy

The skies where no dove or raven flew
Over the sea, the cleansing sea
Were scanned in vain by the crew
The water took them tenderly

2 comments:

rch said...

Hello Martin,

I followed the link from the carnival and I'm glad I did. This is a very good poem, the last couple verse really grab the attention. Great job!

Take care,

Bob - Average Poet

violet said...

Nicely done, Martin. Love the ballad feel of this, with its repeating "Over the sea the **** sea."