In the cold heavy rain, through its poor lens, a woman who might be a man writes with a can of blue paint large numbers on the sides of beached whales— even on the small one who is still living, heaving there next to its darkening mother where the very air is a turnstile… I’m certain this woman is moved as anyone would be— her disciplines, a warranted gift to us, to business, government and our military, and still she exhibits care and patience this further talent for counting, counting…
About this Poem
"This poem began as a vivid dream of dead pilot whales, and its first drafts were meant to double for a friend, Spencer Hanvik, with whom I am completing an album of songs—though Spencer is responsible for the music and the tailoring of the verse into song lyrics. There’s a repository of some of this work at spencerhanvik.bandcamp.com."
The author of numerous collections of poetry, Norman Dubie is the recipient of the Bess Hokin Prize and the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.
Date Published: 2014-01-15
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/transtromer