terror incognita

mountains in the south of France
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.


Terror Incognita

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
of dragons.

(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.)

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

3 thoughts on “terror incognita”

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