Editor’s Note: In response to last week’s feature, Saturday Poetry Series favorites Erin Lyndal Martin and Elana Bell introduced me to two more fabulous mermaid poems. These poems have been swimming through my mind all week, and are too fantastic not to share. Get a taste here, then follow the links below to read each of these stunning poems in full.
from FABLE OF THE MERMAID AND THE DRUNKS
By Pablo Neruda, Translated by Paul Weinfield
But having come from the river, she understood nothing
She was a mermaid and was lost
Their insults flowed down her perfect, smooth flesh
Their filth enveloped her golden breasts
But not knowing tears, she did not weep tears
(Read the complete poem as translated by Paul Weinfield.)
from LATE SUNDAY MORNING
By Elana Bell
the puckered lips, taste
ocean breath and remember
myself, slippery and long
under sun-slanted depths, swaying
to the whine of boats overhead.
I did not need you then, my scales
shining in their pristine sea.
(Read the entire poem in Winter Tangerine.)
Want to read more?
“Sunday Morning” in Winter Tangerine
“Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks” as translated by Paul Weinfeild
“Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks” in English and Spanish via Susan’s Place
“Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks” on youtube, as read by Ethan Hawke
Today’s selections appear via Fair Use.