For poetry month in April I featured an intense excerpt from a moving spiritual poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Today has gotten away from me entirely….I just didn’t have enough arms to do everything I needed to do, much less write an intense literary essay. But do you know who does have more than enough arms–giant terrifying underwater squid monsters! Here is a Tennyson poem about the kraken, which may be a mythical Cthulhu-type monster…or may be an all-too-real colossal squid. It is from Tennyson’s juvenilia so he most likely wrote it as a gawky teenager (which is a funny image).
Whatever the case, it is an amazing and eerie poem which beautifully evokes the overripe and otherworldy horrors of the unknown depths and then imagines the poor kraken being dragged to a burning operatic end on judgement day! Whoah!
Here is the poem! Enjoy!
The Kraken (from Tennyson’s “Juvenilia” published 1871 and on)
Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His antient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee About his shadowy sides: above him swell Huge sponges of millennial growth and height; And far away into the sickly light, From many a wondrous grot and secret cell Unnumber'd and enormous polypi Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green. There hath he lain for ages and will lie Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; Then once by man and angels to be seen, In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.