Wednesday, October 12, 2022

This Is an Island and Therefore Unreal

A young English poet
Opined on a visit
To another island—

Iceland, as it happens—
Slightly north of England,
More latterly settled.

He wanted to believe
In something magical,
As many people do,

And he wanted to show
Off a little his way
With outlandish statements.

Later, a novelist,
Also English, published
A sort-of novella,

Centered on a woman
The novelist’s own age,
Of course also English,

Who experiences,
Through grief, a magical
Transformation she must

Complete by traveling
To Iceland, where she turns
Into a rocky troll.

Do we need to mention
The saga obsessions
Of English Tolkien?

You can’t write the unreal
Clear to reality
Simply by narration,

Since narration depends
On imagination
And imagination

On memory as much
As dreams do, but maybe,
If you’re rather English

And prone to fantasy
On your mental island,
You can visit Iceland.

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