Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 47: Peterhead

Farewell to Tarwathie

Listen – the lyrics laud
Iceclad coasts, land
Barren and bare, no bird
To sing to the whale.

Celebrating sea sojourns
Ships well rigged, heavy with supplies
Comrades hunting to battle
Water, waves, the whale

Listen – the singers’ voices recall
Our great grandfathers’ craves
For adventure, for riches
For the love of their lass on return

Rewrite – we laud the lyrics but
Yearn to cut free the carcass
From the blubber of history’s burden
To reveal the bones of awe.

Petra Vergunst

Petra writes: "The poem is inspired by the whaling exhibition in the Arbuthnott Museum in Peterhead - the town from where a hundred years ago whaling vessels used to depart. The poem refers to the folksong Farewell to Tarwathie. I have written it as part of my project Sharing at the Shoreline (see http://www.musicforcommunities.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/sharing-at-shoreli...). My general blog address is www.musicforcommunities.blogspot.com."

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