Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Whistling Up the Wind"

This poem came out of the December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] corvi and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"Whistling Up the Wind"


Some people think it's simple
to purse your lips and
whistle up the wind,
but it's not.

You have to know the name
of the wind that you want,
or you might get one
that you don't want.

The ancient Greeks spoke of
Boreas, the cold north wind;
Eurus, the lively east wind;
Notos, the stormy south wind;
and Zephyrus, the gentle west wind.

To summon the monsoon,
you can whistle up the Brisa, and
then send it away with the Elephanta.

If your ship is becalmed near Cuba,
call for the Brisote to fill your sails.

To hide yourself, send for Levanter,
the wind of fog and clouds.

Toward the end of winter
you can banish the snow
with a Leveche in Spain,
a Santa Ana in California,
a Warm Braw in New Guinea,
or a Chinook in the Rocky Mountains.

If you want to take the pleasant air,
then pucker up and blow a kiss to
Coromell, night breeze at La Paz;
Bentu de Soli, east wind of Sardinia;
Caver, gentle breeze of the Hebrides;
Tramontana, fresh wind of western Italy
Maestro, fine weather wind of the Adriatic;
or Etesian, refreshing wind of the Mediterranean.

But the names of the winds
in the words of men are
not their true names
and they will answer
only to their own.

To summon the winds
you must stand outside
in all weather and seasons
until you hear them talking
amongst themselves and

learn the names they call each other.

* * *

Notes:

Most of the names come from this "Winds" page:

Bentu de Soli -- An east wind on the coast of Sardinia.

Boreas -- A ancient Greek name for north winds. (also borras) The term may originally have meant "wind from the mountains" and thus the present term BORA. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Brisa, Briza -- 1. A northeast wind which blows on the coast of South America or an east wind which blows on Puerto Rico during the trade wind season. 2. The northeast monsoon in the Philippines.

Brisote -- The northeast trade wind when it is blowing stronger than usual on Cuba.

Caver, Kaver -- A gentle breeze in the Hebrides.

Chinook -- A type of foehn wind. Refers to the warm downslope wind in the Rocky Mountains that may occur after an intense cold spell when the temperature could rise by 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes. Also known as the Snow Eater. (Weather Channel Glossary)

Coromell -- A night land breeze prevailing from November to May at La Paz, near the southern extremity of the Gulf of California.

Elephanta -- A strong southerly or southeasterly wind which blows on the Malabar coast of India during the months of September and October and marks the end of the southwest monsoon.

Etesian -- A refreshing northerly summer wind of the Mediterranean, especially over the Aegean Sea.

Euros -- The Greek name for the rainy, stormy southeast wind. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Foehn -- A warm dry wind on the lee side of a mountain range, whose temperature is increased as the wind descends down the slope. It is created when air flows downhill from a high elevation, raising the temperature by adiabatic compression. Examples include the Chinook wind and the Santa Ana wind. Classified as a katabatic wind. (Weather Channel Glossary)

Levanter -- A strong easterly wind of the Mediterranean, especially in the Strait of Gibraltar, attended by cloudy, foggy, and sometimes rainy weather especially in winter.

Leveche -- A warm wind in Spain, either a foehn or a hot southerly wind in advance of a low pressure area moving from the Sahara Desert. Called a SIROCCO in other parts of the Mediterranean area.

Maestro -- A northwesterly wind with fine weather which blows, especially in summer, in the Adriatic. It is most frequent on the western shore. This wind is also found on the coasts of Corsica and Sardinia.

Santa Ana -- A strong, hot, dry wind blowing out into San Pedro Channel from the southern California desert through Santa Ana Pass.

Tramontana -- A northeasterly or northerly winter wind off the west coast of Italy. It is a fresh wind of the fine weather mistral type.

Warm Braw -- A foehn wind in the Schouten Islands north of New Guinea.

Zephyros -- The ancient Greek name for the west wind, which generally light and beneficial. It has evolved into "zephyr" which denotes a soft gentle breeze. (Glossary of Meteorology)

Of the four chief Anemoi, Boreas (Septentrio in Latin) was the north wind and bringer of cold winter air, Zephyrus or Zephyr (Favonius in Latin) was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes, and Notos (Auster in Latin) was the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn;Eurus (Subsolanus in Latin), the east wind, was not associated with any of the three Greek seasons, and is the only one of these four Anemoi not mentioned in Hesiod's Theogony or in the Orphic Hymns.
-- Anemoi
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