The Kraken (Tennyson)

Acrylic on card, 21 x 29.7 cm. 2020.

Tennyson's poem:

  Below the thunders of the upper deep,
  Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
  His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
  The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
  About his shadowy sides; above him swell
  Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
  And far away into the sickly light,
  From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
  Unnumbered and enormous polypi
  Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
  There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
  Battening upon huge sea worms in his sleep,
  Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
  Then once by man and angels to be seen,
  In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Like most sonnets, the poem contains a 'turn'—in this case, a change in tone that distinguishes its two sentences. In the first ten lines, Tennyson describes the Kraken's slumber; in the final five, its awakening and death. My painting also incorporates a turn: horizontally, it conveys the first part of the poem; vertically, the latter part. 

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