Seal Lullaby, by Rudyard Kipling

Recently it was my pleasure to sing with a very talented choral group (Concordia Sacrae), in concert and recording session, the Eric Whitacre musical composition of The Seal Lullaby (among other gorgeous musical numbers, including Barber’s Agnus Dei adapted from his Adagio for Strings). Coming across this commentary about the Kipling poem, I thought it suitable for re-blogging. I’ve been absent from eklektikos for too long; maybe this will jump-start me again!

Poetic Anthropology

Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
  And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us,
  At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
  Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
  Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas!

When I was small (and not so small) my father read to us.  By “us” I mean all my siblings together.  He read Canticle for Liebowitz, and early Heinlein space operas, and books of Pogo cartoons.  When reading the latter my father would position himself in the middle of the living room floor, or on my parents’ big bed, and we would arrange ourselves like rays around the book, our sun.  We…

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