Poem introduction

I had the good fortune to visit Antarctica some years ago, and I wrote one or two poems down there. I imagined, for example, a polar explorer dying of hypothermia, and then it occurred to me that 'hypothermia' sounded like the name of a Greek goddess, so I wrote this poem.

The Polar Explorer's Love Song

The Polar Explorer's Love Song

The goddess Hypothermia
came and held me tight
and as we kissed we drifted
in the pale, pure light.

Antarctica was in her heart
and ice lay on her breast;
she was the warmest lover
and the best.

She made the glaciers advance,
she made the ice shelf shine,
she made the skua bird take flight
above her love and mine.


from Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2001), © Bill Manhire 2001, used by permission of the author and Carcanet Press Ltd.

Recordings

Buy album £0.00

1Love Poem

2The Prayer

3Wulf

4An Originality

5A Song About the Moon

6Children

7Out West

8Magasin

9Jalopy: The End of Love

10Masturbating

11Miscarriage

12My Sunshine

13The English Teacher

14The Polar Explorer's Love Song

15Visiting Mr Shackleton

16Dogs

17Erebus Voices

18The Writer

19Opoutere

20Death of a Poet

21Hotel Emergencies

22Kevin

23Captain Scott

24Quebec

25The Victims of Lightning

Books by Bill Manhire