Things Dearly Loved and Seldom Mentioned III

Here’s another poem for the “things dearly loved and seldom mentioned” category – IE things you don’t really post about loving or liking or being fond of because you think that everybody knows them, only to find out by chance that, hey, not everyone knows them! It’s clearly a bias in the first place – you work in a certain field and so things are tradified there and your blinders make it seem like surely everyone must come across these things all the time, because, hey, you do – only to then stop and think “Hmm, come to think of it, the overlap of people teaching American lit classes and the people reading this blog might not be all that large…” :-) (and if it is, hey presto, canon formation? [Oops?])

Weeks ago, at DFDF, S ran a lovely workshop where everyone was asked to bring poems they love (or hate), and I took a Rilke along (you’ve got to have Rilke along) and two about Ozymandias, and S. told me that I’d kind of flaked off on the whole ‘Sib posts the classics she loves’ project (I know! Sorry! I’ll try to do better), and so, here’s another one of those:

The Imaginary Iceberg
Elizabeth Bishop

We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship,
although it meant the end of travel.
Although it stood stock-still like cloudy rock
and all the sea were moving marble.
We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship;
we’d rather own this breathing plain of snow
though the ship’s sails were laid upon the sea
as the snow lies undissolved upon the water.

Read the complete poem here.


So, any thoughts on the iceberg?







One response to “Things Dearly Loved and Seldom Mentioned III”

  1. john

    Interesting poem, i feel a questioning, as if the speaker is not human wanting to sail on natures free random boat ride.
    Good to read the whole poem and find i was totally wrong:)
    But in my mind before i read the rest, There was a polar bear frozen in ice, Three rascally Penguins sliding around, Two angry birds with blue feathers circling over head and lots of brightly coloured fish swimming around the iceberg at dazzling speeds.
    It felt quite magical:)
    Thanks for the Wonder:P

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