The Kracken

KrackenI love learning. And this week I learnt about the kraken because my daughter undertook to write a school project on ‘a mythical or legendary creature’. She did a great job, and along the way we talked about leviathan and Job, about das Nichtige and Augustine and Moby Dick, about the sea-less new creation being good news for Jews and (if taken literally) bad news for me, and about Jesus doing some really cool things around boats and with wind and waves. And we discovered together the great Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘The Kracken’.

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

And it’s only Thursday …


  1. I’m hoping that when John wrote ‘there is no more sea’ it’s either a mistranslation, or that he meant something else much more symbolic. Living in a seaside city is one of the great joys of life.


  2. Wonderful! (Have you seen Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan? Well worth watching, if you’ve not.)


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