Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Norman Dubie
Norman Dubie
The author of numerous collections of poetry, Norman Dubie is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Bess Hokin Award from the Modern Poetry Association...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Poems about Whales
The Feeling of the World As a Bounded Whale Is the Mystical [The child affixes]
by Darcie Dennigan
Of Politics, & Art
by Norman Dubie
Sojourn in the Whale
by Marianne Moore
The Drunken Fisherman
by Robert Lowell
Whales Weep Not!
by D. H. Lawrence
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

For Tranströmer

 
by Norman Dubie

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."

—Norman Dubie






Copyright © 2014 by Norman Dubie. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 15, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.