Senryu : mermaid’s singing

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walk the universe
I hear the mermaids singing
too many brandies!

senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere

Today on Tuesday Platform, Sanaa Rizvi offered up Anthony Hopkins reciting The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot.  Prufrock talks of tea, marmalade and insecurities whilst walking the streets at night.  Towards the end, he speaks two lines that have always especially resonated to me:

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.”

For me that lines has always been about for so many people how imaginative they once were but as they grew up or their doubts grew, how they become estranged from their imagination.  I know there have been years when I felt like my creativity had retreated, sulking behind a door.

As doubts, fears and the business of everyday life slam the door shut to creativity, one must push them aside and yes be a tad rude to them, telling them that for a few hours anyways they do need to shut up because we are going to write, dance, make a film or whatever.

The mermaids are always singing.  But it’s a bit like Tinkerbell.  If you don’t believe, you won’t hear them. So you need to go down to the beach, laying out the tea and crumpets on a sunny rock and wait for them to come up.  Mermaids are a bit like cats.  They are a curious lot and will eventually surface just to see what you are about.

Whatever you write, draw, or create leads on and on to the next thing you create.  It’s not a door after all.  It’s a road.  Let’s go.

Video: T.S. Eliot reads The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock

References:

The Tuesday Platform
imaginary garden with real toads

One Word Photo Challenge: Mermaid
Tourmaline

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T. S. Eliot, 1888 – 1965
poets.org

Amazon: A collection of T.S. Eliot’s works.  “the mermaids singing” has inspired other folks: a play, a composer and a novelist.  I read Sarton’s novel in my 20s — it was amazingly different as a novel as it explored a poet in her golden years and how her past loves, male and female, have been her muses. At the time I had only read fairly straightforward novels like mysteries, sci-fi and classics with main characters who were under 30. Sarton introduced me to a different kind of novel, more lyrical rather than a straight-lined plot-based approach.


The Waste Land and Other Poems: Including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T.S. Eliot

The Mermaids Singing, a play
by John van Druten

Tina Davidson: I Hear the Mermaids Singing

Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
by May Sarton

Disclaimer: I have signed up as an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small payment if anyone buys anything by clicking a link. The sheet said 4.5% if it’s a book. I earned $3 in August and $3.41 in October so not going to get rich anytime soon, lol.  I think Amazon requires this next quote. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

8 thoughts on “Senryu : mermaid’s singing”

  1. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this especially; “As doubts, fears and the business of everyday life slam the door shut to creativity, one must push them aside and yes be a tad rude to them”… Yes we musn’t give up!❤ Thank you so much for sharing this with us 😀

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  2. Mermaids are curious and will eventually surface to see what you are about. Best line, and it is true. Wonderful read, you and Eliot, this morning. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you! I am so happy you enjoyed it. Sanaa is responsible for the T.S. Eliot inspiration. I’d heard the mermaid line before (cuz of May Sarton’s book) but never heard/read the poem it came from. As I get older, I find I enjoy poetry a lot more than I did when I was young. Unless it was in song from — I’ve always loved songs which is poetry set to music mostly

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