This the world the small the great, wrote the famous Nobel Prize poetry winner Odysseus Elytis in his most recognized book Axion Esti (it is worthy…it is valuable) in which he celebrates the birth of the world as we know it. Elytis creates eloquent images to describe life in its various expressions and manifestations and Eric Ponty does the same in his short book The Blue Whale: he presents the birth of Earth as a small spec of the cosmos and yet as a panorama of lifeforms from the infinitesimal to the gigantic as the great mammal, the whale.
In the eyes of Eric Ponty the world’s lifeforms come into being one by one and as they appear from the great pneumatic realm into the light they impose their shapes and tastes upon the earth’s schisms and crevasses, its plains and snow-covered mountain peaks; their first and primal concern was to impress upon the eyes of the observing man their stature and their methods of survival. First the whales singing their songs as they travelled from north to south and taught their calves the way of life until one day the whale conceived a world full of other beings which its thoughtful mind started creating.
And the clouds appeared and the winds, and the birds upon the sky and the roots of trees and bulbs in the earth and the animals walking on earth and in the trenches and plains of earth; and the little islands and the forests and the sand dunes and the rivers singing their happiness. The world slowly comes into being each life form having its own method of existence and method of sustainance. The whale’s song brought forth life from each and every schism of soil and from each and every drop of the ocean water, each form occupying its space and thus completing the panorama of existence.
Then a boy appeared, a lone boy who had the winds and the birds and the flowers as friends and companions. And in awe he looked at all the lifeforms around him and he learned to greet them and live with them in harmony with everyone around him. And later on, as the boy grew a little he tried to learn his lesson from the little and gigantic forms around him: he talked to them in the boys’ tongue and he begged of them to learn and to accept each lifeform on earth as his brother and companion; and in return the boy promised to preserve and uphold the unwritten rules of existence which relied upon mutual respect and appreciation for each and every one of the earth’s inhabitants.
And they all lived in harmony until one day the blue whale sent to him an eagle who not only taught him wise things about life but also gave him wings to fly from island to island and enjoy the sights of things small and large.
THE BLUE WHALE is an excellent read for every young person and Eric deserves congratulations for creating this beautiful modern-day fairy tale which deserves to be taught to every boy and girl of young school age.
[~Manolis Aligizakis, poet, author, translator. Manolis was born on the island of Crete in 1947. Educated in Greece (BA in Political Sciences, Panteion Supreme School of Athens) he served in the armed forces for two years, and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, after which he worked in several different jobs. He attended Simon Fraser University for a year, taking English Literature in a non-degree program. He has written three novels, a number of collections of poetry, which are slowly appearing as published works, various articles and short stories in Greek as well as in English. After working as an iron worker, train laborer, taxi driver, and stock broker, he now lives in White Rock where he spends his time writing, gardening, and traveling. Towards the end of 2006 he founded Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company in Surrey, British Columbia, with the goal of publishing literary books most other companies reject, thus giving voice to people who are not listened to by conventional publishers.]