Ode to a Stranded Whale

You beach your beauty
on the back of geo-
magnetic storms.

Spellbinding as pulsating northern lights,
you offered songs to the night
but were drawn by siren stars,

lured off course and hurled
through waves of coronal mass ejection,
fought hard to correct your navigation.

You collided with the shore
and now you lie, exposed
to the cosmos,

foamy flukes glinting in starlight,
your song echoing in the night.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Image result for whale and stars pinterest
Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Ode — Poem of Praise

Our host for this week’s Meeting the Bar is Frank Hubeny and the topic he has chosen is the ode, a poem of praise. He says that odes have been discussed in the past at dVerse but one motivation for this prompt came from reading  Peter Frankis’ ode to Emily Dickinson in a recent Open Link Night.

Frank read in Lewis Turco’s The Book of Forms that one can categorize odes, for example: the Keatsian ode, the Horatian ode, the Cowleyan ode, and the Ronsardian ode. He says one could perhaps talk about a Neruda ode that is formless. Turco also categorizes odes by their contents. What underlies all of this is praise for something, someone or some event, whether real or fictional.

The challenge today is to write a poem of praise. There are no formal or content constraints.

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33 thoughts on “Ode to a Stranded Whale

    1. Thank you, Bjorn. Oh no! I couldn’t eat whale meat! I don’t eat meat. But I would try to get it to go back to the water. We’ve had a couple of whales that were stranded on the coast here but they sadly died.

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  1. Oh Kim. This is so sad and so beautiful. I hope someone comes along and pushes the whale off the beach. I hate seing the poor things stranded but love it when humans come together to help it. The songs in the night – oh that line got to me.

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    1. Have you ever seen the film from New Zealand, ‘Whale Rider’? It has to be one of my favourite films. It’s based on Maori culture and how a girl proves to her grandfather, the Chief, that’s she just as good if not better than a boy. She saves whales stranded on a beach.

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  2. WHALE RIDER came to mind too, and all the orcha adventures here in Puget Sound–and the remake of MOBY DICK last year directed by Rod Howard. Your last line is killer; smile.

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  3. I feel so sad seeing those stranded whales…a tragedy of nature~ Love the ending lines of the dying whale:

    foamy flukes glinting in starlight,
    your song echoing in the night.

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  4. Lovely, Kim. I am touched by your ode as I’ve a special fondness for whales. We have lost a few recently, two babies, in our Salish Sea due to environs not being what they should. Such friendly creatures…sad.

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