Tuesday, 13 January 2015

'Ukiorpoq', the winter has come.

I've been reading a collection of poems titled 'Ice - contemporary and traditional poems for the festive season', published by Pighog Press.

The opening poem is this well-known, sublime, unique work of genius:

'Blow, blow, thou winter wind'

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remembered not.

William Shakespeare

That ingratitude of man, which 'freezes' the most Winterly moments of life, is also present in poems by Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns, John Keats...

In that little 'Icebook I also find Nancy Campbell, the contemporary English writer and poet who most dedicates to the Arctic - its people and its places, and the sensations one can experiment only in the frozen landscapes, in a blue-and-white palette under glacial windstorms. This is totally different poetry - the seven inuit words for Winter, sounding like ice-sharpened blowing blades:

'Seven Words for Winter'

ukiigatta last winter.
ukioq the winter; the whole year.
          ukiukkut in winter; during the year.
          ukiuuppaa the winter came upon her before she           reached home, or finished building her house.
ukiorippoq she has a good winter; it is a good winter.
ukiorpoq the winter has come.
ukiortaak the new year.

Nancy Campbell


Someone found how to sing the cold, ungrateful nature of man as Shakespeare wrote: