Northern Gannet, 2006

Northern Gannet 2006

Project Statement

Northern Gannet is an ekphrasitik piece created in response to a poem by Marie Harris, fromer NH poet laureate. Wooden knobs turn a scroll to reveal the poem while an obscured video can be viewed through a cut out in the surface.

Northern Gannet, poem by Marie Harris
Morus bassanus
Middle Englishganate: sea fowl or a goose-like seagull
Morus: Latin: silly or foolish
One early traveler describes it as
“an animal so very simple as to become a proverb.”

I have all the time in the world—sailing a watery desert edged at the west by the purpled shapes of what’s visible of the left-behind world—to reflect upon this canoe-shaped diving bird and the possibilities of its provoking a proverb, and so set myself the task of making one up.

(Proverbs need, I believe, some commonly shared experience, fraught with risk and consequence, designed to forewarn, forearm, or otherwise instruct.)

Did I plunge into dark waters from various natural and man-made precipices—
fully clothed, half-naked or altogether bare-assed, dared or unprompted, drunk or cold sober—enough times to occasion an observation and then, perforce, pass it on and down for the benefit of silly-geese girls?

Even the gannet does not dive at night.

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