Tag Archives: stephen spender

Undersea


Last week I heard I heard Krista Tippett interview the oceanographer  Sylvia Earle. Earle was given the nickname Her Deepness because she was the first person to walk solo on the bottom of the sea.

Her Deepness talked about revelation: the wonder of the phosphorescent world beneath the sea. And she talked about conservation: the need to preserve the diversity of the ocean.

One morsel that stayed with me was her comment that every fish looks different. I take it for granted that every human, cat or dog looks unique. It is surprising and wonderful that this is true for fish as well. She recommended meeting fish in places other than your dinner plate.

Here are some fish by Bilibin:

The Underwater Kingdom

A snipefish from Leonard Baskin:

From Saito Shoshu:

from Matthaus Merian:
Deborah Mersky drew this with gall ink that she made from an oak tree:
Deborah Mersky
and here is a Merskmaid from many years ago.
Deborah Mersky Mermaid
 I’ve been thinking about creatures of the sea all week. How do these undersea thoughts relate to creating children’s books? Maybe in some way, maybe not at all: I don’t know yet.

Here is a poem by Stephen Spender.

The Word

The word bites like a fish.

Shall I throw it back free

arrowing to the sea

where thoughts lash tail and fin?

Or shall I pull it in

to rhyme upon a dish?