Saturday, November 20, 2010

Far, Far Beneath

I've always been fascinated by sea monsters. The giant squid in particular is a creature that represents the intersection of myth and reality, where the tall tales of sailors proved based in truth. The image of a tentacled behemoth--a kraken--has fascinated artists and writers for millennia, but not until recent times have scientists finally been able to begin to illuminate this entity previously consigned the deepest depths of fantasy, science fiction and cryptozoological speculation. Even as we begin to understand the great beast as a living, breathing creature, it still maintains its allure as a manifestation of the darkest reaches of the human psyche.

Illustration source: Somefield.

"The Kraken" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, 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
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea worms 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.

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