Sea of Words

Mosaic of the goddess Tethys
Mosaic of Goddess Tethys

Sea of Words

Searching for Tethys

Her thoughts carried her like the sea carries a boat

Omnipresent yet unknown

The waves battled

the unspoken ocean of her thoughts.

Gushing bellows of swirling whirlpools

She felt the heavy breeze in her hair;

the salt pierced her face

So fragile were her ideas undiscovered

Confronted with Aura – the breeze became her muse

Deep in conversation

Waves broke out of their amorphous casts

They discussed that land of the past

The last forgotten ocean

Only the Earth had moved as in Gaia’s dream

The changing realm of the abyss

A mystery which remained with her

Looking for clues to uncover these secrets

On her raft she remained

Lost in the sea of words

By Siddhi Joshi

This poem draws on similarities between conversations and the breadth and depth of the sea. As a PhD student studying oceanography, I have been continuously inspired by nature and a large range of natural phenomenon in the sea- of Tethys- the Greek goddess of the sea and her mother Gaia- the goddess of the Earth. Drawing on ideas of scientific discovery, this poem explores the role of conversation in scientific dialogue and this relationship between thought, observation of nature and discovery. I was inspired to write it when reading the book “Vanished Ocean” by Dorrik Stow – a book about the Tethys Ocean and the insights of Greek mythology in the personification of nature and refers to the amorphous casts from Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse.”

It also draws on my own personal experiences of my journey as a PhD student studying oceanography especially while going on oceanographic expeditions and of subsequent conversations with my supervisor. Although the poem is relatively open-ended, in what the conversation is about- it could be about anything- parallels are drawn between the thought process of scientific discovery; human conversation; conversations with nature; even love…

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