Thursday, 2 November 2006

The Starfish Remains Untranslated

One of my favourite lines of poetry is 'the starfish remains untranslated' which comes from the magnificent Axion Esti by the Greek poet, Odysseus Elytis, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1979. I love the sense of mystery about the natural world encapsulated in that line.

I have long wanted to write a poem with this line as a starting point and on Poetry Thursday this week we were given the challenge of taking a favourite line and using it as a starting point for thinking about poetry or writing a poem of our own. So here is a short poem inspired by that line:

The Starfish Remains Untranslated

Heavenly body fallen to earth
shining between rocks and detritus -
symbol or cosmic co-incidence?
What can it tell us
about the sea and its tides,
the galaxies,
ourselves and our lives?


Catherine said...

I love the mystery in your starting line, and in your poem with its unanswered question

ren powell said...

I think these kinds of poems are hard to do- they can sound silly or trite, and this is neither. cool.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know. Is the starfish fallen or is it raised up to the heavens? Great poem.

Anonymous said...

Well, there it is then! Nicely done. Actually, one would think your poem to be the genesis of the phrase!

jzr said...

Very nice!

Anonymous said...

Wow. You certainly did the line justice. Great poem. Thanks for sharing.

twilightspider said...

Your poem explains "the starfish remains untranslated" perfectly - as if that line was just waiting to be used for the title of this poem.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using the mystery to start some speculation about its meaning.

Doe said...

enchanting! loved it to bits!!!