by Diane Fahey

Diane Fahey

The crew of the vessel bearing him on his return journey from Tarentum to Corinth determined to kill him for his wealth… They did, however, grant the bard's request that he be allowed to sing once more before dying. Arion put on his full minstrel's regalia and began to sing a hymn to Apollo. Seeing that many dolphins, attracted by his song, were playing about the ship, he leaped into the sea. One of the dolphins took him on its back and carried him to the shore at Taenarum.
—Edward Tripp
His chanted words were a sea they swam in —
dolphins wreathing the ship where Arion sang
to save his life. He sang without fear,
with ancient formality, dressed in the dignity
of his minstrel's robes. That set him free
to move through sounds like a dolphin,
be at one with a sea of echoing pathways:
his song was a bright strand woven amongst them.
Then he leapt into water, his dolphin-voyage
a speeding through chill and sunlight —
each fragment of spray a drop of gold-
within-crystal. His homeland began where
that great line of energy broke on sand.
He walked through it, hearing a wordless singing.

Listening to a far sea

Last updated January 14, 2019