Inupiat Family from Noatak, Alaska, 1929, Edward S. Curtis, Wikimedia photo.
Inupiat Family from Noatak, Alaska, 1929, Edward S. Curtis, Wikimedia photo.

In a recent blog, I wrote about transient poetic characters. This post pertains to enduring characters, those who continue from poem-to-poem, demonstrating personal and spiritual growth through their versed journeys and challenges.

Quiet but ever-present voice in my Arctic-Nunavut poetry is Inuit shaman, Jacopee. Guiding force and gentle hand, he is attuned with his culture, a “bridge” to the  spiritual world. To relate his poetry, he awaits with drum in hand, smoking his pipe, or greeting me with caribou hide sleeping mat. Our spiritual meeting place is at edge of the treeline meandering dark waters of Ungava Bay in Nunavik (or “Arctic Quebec”). There, he tells his storied past of life-accounts. Yes, he and his verses are enduring, lamp-light of my poetry. For more, see this link.

"Gunnlöð," Anders Zorn, 1893, WikiArt photo.
“Gunnlöð,” Anders Zorn, 1893, WikiArt photo.

Equally lasting is Norse-Viking Brithe, young woman who lived during height of Viking homestead habitation of Greenland. I met her whilst she was sleeping on a summer-sunlit Greenland cliff overlooking the sea, lying on a hand-woven blanket on lush grass. Our meeting was her poetic re-awakening. Like Jacopee, she has a strong spiritual persona, following both Christian and pagan religions. To her, Odin’s hammer is shaped similarly to cross of Christ, both of which she wears on a necklace pressed to her breast. I have often felt that Brithe was my “sister” or “other self,” and as such, she is my most enduring character, who has affinity for Arctic exploration, navigating ice-cluttered waters to Helluland, Markland, and to Vinland. From our close kinship, she is one of my muses. See this link.

One distinction between transient and enduring poetic characters is that when the latter ones are not recalling their life in verse, they remain in their time and homelands, whereas transient ones seem to dissolve into nothingness. Regardless, both are borne from love, author of all arts. According to Plato, “through divine poetry all living things are produced upon the earth.” Perhaps a fine distinction exists between “living,” transient, and enduring. Thank-you for allowing my poetic characters to enter your life.

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