Friday, March 9, 2012

Polar Poetry

Read the first poem and see if you can tell what the poet's purpose is.
Also, notice what the mood of the poem is. 

Poem #1:  A poem by Dennis Webster:

The penguin is an awkward bird.
At least, that's what I've always heard.
     It swims and waddles, never flies,
     When other birds act otherwise.

Its workday outfit seems so formal
And that, I think, is hardly normal.
     It keeps its egg upon its feet
     Which doesn't sound so very neat.

Still, I guess the penguin does its best
To raise a child without a nest.
     It's not exactly Paradise
     Living on a slab of ice.       
This poem was written by the father of Kim Cunningham of Hancock, New Hampshire. An artist, she has produced an illustrated booklet that includes this poem.
Found at

Poem #2: This poem is by Sir Douglas Mawson, an Antarctic Explorer.
Perhaps when on my printed page you look,
     Your fancies by the fireside may go homing
To that lone land where bravely you endured.
     And if perchance you hear the silence calling.
The frozen music of star-yearning heights,
     Or, dreaming, see the seines of silver trawling
Across the ships abyss on vasty nights,
     You may recall that sweep of savage splendor,
That land that measures each man at his worth,
     And feel in memory, half fierce, half tender,
The brotherhood of men that know the South.           
Apologies to Service—
Found at

Poem #3:  This is from a book-length poem about Worsley

He watches the men on Elephant Island after their six months’ drift on an ice-floe.
                  But these men picked up pebbles
                 Wet from the sea and cold
                 And cradled them in their hands
                 As if they were coins of gold;
                 As if they had ended their troubles
                  On those lost frozen sands.
from a PDF from

Poem #4: 
Thin Ice  (From the poem by Claire Beynon)



might . . . 

found at

Poem #5:
In This Place  by Claire Beynon

In this place, silence has a voice
wide-ranging as the continent.
Some say its on the cusp
of madness, the way it hums
and stutters, mutters to itself
in quietest tones.

In this place, the universe
brims. Inside absence,
presence. Inside distance,
dust and our sleeping earth
dreaming beneath her thin blue
mask of ice.

In this place, the necessity
of memory, recollections
of a loved ones face
shape of laughter, weight
of breath.

In this place, nostalgia
roams, patient as slow
hands on skin, transparent
as melt-water. Nights are light
and long. Shadows settle
on the shoulders of air.

Time steps out of line
here, stops to thaw
the frozen hearts of icebergs.
Sleep isn't always easy in this place
where the sun stays up all night
and silence has a voice.

found at