This is an excerpt, the first verse, of Whale Translation which I will read today at 5.55pm by The actual Whale on Cutty Sark Gardens outside Royal Naval College. The Whale didn’t commit suicide – at least that’s not how he sees it – nor was he washed up. He came to give us a message. I have been charged with translating and here is the first verse. .
I speak to you on this memorable day
Through the Translation services of a poet
I must commend Captain Boomer and his dedicated crew
On the good ships Mercedes and The Miss Daisy
Who thrashed through my seas to try and dissuade me
Whose shadows traced me down the Thames to my end
They are good men, good women
But I did not want to be saved.
Lemn Sissay is our writer in residence at GDIF and he will be around throughout. Catch him at the mobile library next to The Great Greenwich Whale on King Charles Lawn at the Old Royal Naval College! Lemn will do a short presentation today at 6pm at the mobile library.