e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Whales and Poetry

Whale swims

Browsing around the other day I came across a poem about whales by D H Lawrence. Entitled Whales Weep Not it is about their love life.

They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, …

Reading it made me wonder if others have written poems about whales.

Hawaii has a welcoming celebration for the migrating humpbacks and this includes poetry, but none of the poems are quoted on the website.

The orcas get a whole site for their poems. But this is made up for on Hello Poetry which covers all whales.

I also found a number of short doggerels, as if the hugeness and majesty of whales are more manageable in small, simple pieces.


The picture comes from flickr.

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4 thoughts on “Whales and Poetry

  1. My pedantic nature forces to put in a note about something you certainly know, the appearance of whales in Old English poetry, including one full poem, “The Whale,” from the Exeter Book. The poem describe’s the whale’s nefarious habit of posing as an island to which unsuspecting seafarers happily moor their boats and camp, only to have the whale (an agent of Satan) take them to watery ends. Fiercely dramatic and full of lovely poetic images as compelling as anything modern poets can do with our contemporary version of the language. Not as sexy as Lawrence, though. Thanks for the whale poetry.


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