Poem 119 – The Vasa

Three masts rise upon which sailors died,
Upon the Vasa, pride of its king.
A testament to hubris, a monument to pride,
A futile gesture at the tide.
Many years ago the crowds wondered at its sinking,
Gazed on as the ship tipped to its side,
But now the mighty Vasa stands as tribute,
To be gazed on with strange and wondering eyes.

A record of a long-lost past,
Or heritage and truth,
Incarnate identity,
Or an artefact, a door to the past?
The rigging is still rising,
The nets and ropes still tied,
Upon the Vasa, raised like a god,
From the clutches of its demise.

Raised from the great ocean the Vasa was restored,
And now it stands remembered, now it is adored,
Those three great masts rise skywards,
And protected for eternity –
Never again will the Vasa face her nemesis, the sea.

***

Dear readers,

The Vasa is a large ship, currently in a museum in Stockholm harbour. Its three masts can be seen towering over the harbour from across the bay. Built 1626 to 1628, it was constructed poorly, and set sail under royal pressure to help in the Thirty Years’ War. It then promptly sank, and was thus preserved far longer than most ships at the bottom of Stockholm harbour, from where it was recovered in the 20th century. More information can be found with the ever-wonderful Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship) Alas, the museum was closed when I was there. Have any of you seen it – or better yet, have any of you got any photos?

Kind regards,

The Hapless Neo-Romantic 

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