There is a phrase in the introduction to Heaney’s Beowulf (Faber & Faber) that caught my attention when I first read it:
“Nevertheless, the dragon has a wonderful inevitability about him and a unique glamour.”
It took me about five years before I found the poem where the idea could be used.
Of course it’s possible that speed isn’t necessary when we’re dealing with mountains, dragons and poetry.
Whichever way you look at it
that mountain has to be
a dragon. See the bold curve
of its haunch as it crouches
hackles raised along the skyline.
Pinked by the morning sun
the broad snout tucks
under a crooked wing and snow
webs taloned claws.
You can’t escape: each serrated
ridge, each spur and scar
of every mountain range
proclaims the inevitability
(Note: the formatting and order of the text in this post were altered in May 2015 for reasons associated with how the poem was displayed.)
3 thoughts on “terror incognita”