Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | July 9, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: The Shark

by E. J. Pratt (1882 – 1964).

The Shark (1923)

He seemed to know the harbour,
So leisurely he swam;
His fin,
Like a piece of sheet-iron,
Three-cornered,                                               5
And with knife-edge,
Stirred not a bubble
As it moved
With its base-line on the water.

His body was tubular                                        10
And tapered
And smoke-blue,
And as he passed the wharf
He turned,
And snapped at a flat-fish                                 15
That was dead and floating.
And I saw the flash of a white throat,
And a double row of white teeth,
And eyes of metallic grey,
Hard and narrow and slit.                                 20

Then out of the harbour,
With that three-cornered fin
Shearing without a bubble the water
Lithely,
Leisurely,                                                        25
He swam—
That strange fish,
Tubular, tapered, smoke-blue,
Part vulture, part wolf,
Part neither—for his blood was cold.                   30

Notes:
http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/pratt/
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006453

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