Friday, April 10, 2015

Poetry Friday: The Mermaid

I'm thinking of mermaids right now because of the Progressive Poem, and I found this mermaid poem that I love because of its mixture of longing and loss, letting go what you can't really possess anyway.

The Mermaid
by Lisel Mueller

All day he had felt her stirring
under the boat, and several times
when the net had tightened, frog-nervous,
he had bungled the pulling-in,
half-glad of the stupid, open mouths
he could throw back.

                                 At sundown
the shifting and holding of time and air
had brought her to the still surface,
to sun herself in the last, slow light
where lilies and leeches tangled and rocked.
He could have taken her then, aimed his net
as dragonfly hunters do when the glassy gliding
of rainbows goes to their heads,
could have carried her home on tiptoe
and lifted her lightly, ever so lightly
over his sill.

See what he does instead in the last stanza, here.

And here's today's roundup.



Tabatha said...

Thanks for the mermaid poem, Ruth -- I was wanting one but didn't realize it.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Wow! I confess, I have not read a lot of mermaid poems, Ruth, but this one is awesome! Love "frog-nervous" and "when the glassy gliding/of rainbows goes to their heads."

Mary Lee said...

I'm glad of his choice.

Good to remember that we don't have to collect all the beauty in the world...shouldn't, in fact, because it will fade in our hands. We need to have our eyes open and appreciate beauty with our net in the bottom of the boat, as it were.

laurasalas said...

What a lovely poem. So many startling images. Thanks, Ruth!