Friday, April 17, 2015

Poetry Friday: More Mermaids

I'm still in the ocean, or bayou, with mermaids.  I had no idea Thomas Merton had written this kind of haunting, atmospheric poem.  It makes me feel as though I need breathing apparatus to read it.  I found it here, at Poetry Foundation.


By Thomas James Merton
(From Crossportion’s Pastoral)

The bottom of the sea has come   
And builded in my noiseless room   
The fishes’ and the mermaids’ home,

Whose it is most, most hell to be   
Out of the heavy-hanging sea
And in the thin, thin changeable air

Or unroom sleep some other where;   
But play their coral violins   
Where waters most lock music in:

The bottom of my room, the sea.
Full of voiceless curtaindeep
There mermaid somnambules come sleep   
Where fluted half-lights show the way,

And there, there lost orchestras play   
And down the many quarterlights come   
To the dim mirth of my aquadrome:   
The bottom of my sea, the room.

Here's a link to a Pablo Neruda mermaid poem I posted back in 2011, with a video rendition.


Robyn Hood Black said...

Wow! I love that you went and fished for more mermaid poetry from these classic poets. A little darker than our Progressive Poem (at least I assume it won't get quite as haunting as these!). Thanks for sharing, Ruth, & Happy Poetry Month!

Doraine said...

Haunting for sure! I love "unroom sleep some other where."

Mary Lee said...

Yay! More mermaids!