Last Monday my husband and I took the kids to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a delightful trip. The primary aquarium building sits on Pier 3 of the harbor. As we made our way through the building using a series of escalators, water surrounded us. The harbor outside surrounded the building. The enormous tanks within surrounded the people filtering through the exhibits. At every level, we were able to peer over a balcony edge down into the lowest tank filled with stingrays flying gracefully through the water.
Of course, I don’t really visit anywhere without thinking of the implications for poetry. As I walked with my family through the exhibits, different poems about water flickered through my thoughts: Elizabeth Bishop’s At the Fishouses, and William Carlos Williams’ Landscape With The Fall of Icarus were the first two that came to mind.
When I finally came home that evening, I searched the web to find other water poems:
Meng Hao-jan’s Night on the Great River
Walt Whitman’s As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life
Pablo Neruda’s Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market
Your spark: write a poem about water—the ocean, a sea, a river, a lake, or even the rain. The form of the water is up to you. The important thing to remember is the water itself, in all its lovely and mysterious forms. Good luck!