Winter 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 1 Poetry |

Ragged Sonnets: LXXXI

The whales, we're told, sing. And sing, as befits their size, immense sagas, vast patterns they can repeat or vary as they choose, and send to listeners seas away, deep in oceanic shade awaiting stories that will give the soundings of their lives an origin and end, a majesty of meaning we will never understand. Thousands of years ago, we also made a massive music, though far beyond our power to act, for—even then—we were quite small. Now, Homer's greatcoat drapes us like a tent. Besides, we mostly sang of treachery and wrath; of love, only to lament.

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