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SEAGULLS - E. J. PRATT

E J Pratt’s poetic voice is a whisper, a gentle nudge of breeze on skin, the brush of a furtive wing. It tells you to dive into the river of the everyday. It narrates without surprise or wonder, with candour, about the everyday miracle of nature. It is as if his poems pause a moment in time and then recast them in a frame that is eloquent in the stillness of its colours. I find in his poems an energy that oscillates between the silence of the observer, and the movement of the living world (for even inanimate things have life in them, it takes but a voice to wake up their souls).


“Away back before emergence of fur or feather, back to the unvocal

sea and down deep where the darkness spills its wash on the     

threshold of light, where the lids never close upon the eyes, where     

the inhabitants slay in silence and are as silently slain.”


In today’s poem, Pratt relates ‘one carved instant’ of flight, and even as he scourges the natural world for metaphor, he illustrates the spectacle of grace that is the Sea-Gulls. An interesting fact is that orchids don’t need soil to grow, they grow wild, sometimes, in cracks in rocks, or firewood.

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