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Poem: "The Fisherman's Daughter" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "The Fisherman's Daughter"

This poem came out of the August 3, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from valdary and sponsored by minor_architect.


The Fisherman's Daughter


A crystal ball is for geomancers,
who scry out hidden deposits of gems
for the miners to find,
and who are paid handsomely enough
to afford such an artifact.

The fisherman's daughter is poor.
At night she wrings the bodies
of squid and octopi,
squeezing their rubbery skin
until her bowl fills with ink.

Dark as the sea at night,
it shows her where the fish school
and where the reef grows close to the surface.
She tells her father and uncles,
and each day they come home safe with full hulls.

Someday, she thinks,
it would be a grand adventure
to cut open the corpse of a storm-killed kraken --
which after all is much like a squid or an octopus --
and see what she could scry in its ink.




You can now read the sequels:
"Atramentous Visions"
"The Ocean of Her Eyes"

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8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 4th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
This set of poems is really speaking to me. I like this one a lot, too, esp. the last stanza.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 4th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm delighted to hear that. I'm getting lots of comments -- I think it's a popular topic. This was one suggested in an audience poll. I wasn't sure how well it would work in practice, but it turned out surprisingly well.

Some of the poems fall into interesting batches, too. There are two desertfolk poems, "Shadow Staves" and "Piraan." There are several detailing specific types of divination, turning instruction into literature. There are some cautionary ones, because you pretty much can't tackle the big theme of The Future without warning that it can be dangerous stuff to tamper with.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 5th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

It sounds like you had a lot of fun writing them, too?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 5th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

Oh yes. Especially mulling over the two different types of moles, and how to fit them together.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: August 4th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I, too, wonder what she could scry in kraken ink.
danceswithwaves From: danceswithwaves Date: August 5th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohhhh, what could you scry in a kraken's ink? Its ink would be dark as the deep sea that no stars touch, and perhaps the secrets as dark as well.
eseme From: eseme Date: August 5th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that last stanza just makes this poem. What a great idea! I'd be worried that she would get too much of the future from the kraken, but I suppose if she is wise, she could preserve the ink and only use a tiny amount at a time. Then she would not have to spend her nights wringing out ink...
red_trillium From: red_trillium Date: August 9th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a nice poem, an interesting concept. I do really like the last stanza and do think it would either make an interesting 2nd poem or short story.
8 comments or Leave a comment