Watching for Dolphins

Listen to the poem read by the author

-Listen to it again. Write a question that comes to your mind.

-Find information about the writer that may be important to understand the poem

Poem: Watching for Dolphins

Resultado de imagen para watching for dolphins

In the summer months on every crossing to Piraeus

One noticed that certain passengers soon rose

From seats in the packed saloon and with serious

Looks and no acknowledgement of a common purpose

Passed forward through the small door into the bows

To watch for dolphins. One saw them lose


Every other wish. Even the lovers

Turned their desires on the sea, and a fat man

Hung with equipment to photograph the occasion

Stared like a saint, through sad bi-focals; others,

Hopeless themselves, looked to the children for they

Would see dolphins if anyone would. Day after day


Or on their last opportunity all gazed

Undecided whether a flat calm were favourable

Or a sea the sun and the wind between them raised

To a likeness of dolphins. Were gulls a sign, that fell

Screeching from the sky or over an unremarkable place

Sat in a silent school? Every face


After its character implored the sea.

All, unaccustomed, wanted epiphany,

Praying the sky would clang and the abused Aegean

Reverberate with cymbal, gong and drum.

We could not imagine more prayer, and had they then

On the waves, on the climax of our longing come


Smiling, snub-nosed, domed like satyrs, oh

We should have laughed and lifted the children up

Stranger to stranger, pointing how with a leap

They left their element, three or four times, centred

On grace, and heavily and warm re-entered,

Looping the keel. We should have felt them go


Further and further into the deep parts. But soon

We were among the great tankers, under their chains

In black water. We had not seen the dolphins

But woke, blinking. Eyes cast down

With no admission of disappointment the company

Dispersed and prepared to land in the city.

-Group work: Debate

Make a chart and complete the following information:

  • Context
  • Voice
  • Theme
  • Tone
  • Techniques (literary devices)
  • Personal opinion
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