Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid
The rain-whipped Copenhagen
Stands dripping and wet
On that memorable June visit
And recalled often in-between states
Of dreaming and waking up in Mumbai.
Standing at the Langelinie Promenade
That day I stand reverentially and watch
The Little Mermaid that has pulled me
There to that promenade, my pilgrimage!
She, the Immortal One,
Sits atop a rock, looking forlorn, detached!
The glossy raindrops and the grey afternoon
Make it a gloomy spot in the glittering skyline.
The rain accentuates her inner solitude
Which Hans C. Andersen hinted at so subtly.
The odd character from a celebrated fairy story
Becomes real here, that instant, with the ocean providing
A backdrop of immensity to her hybrid frailty!
Love and longings are caught vividly in the bronze
Sculpture by Edvard Eriksen so deftly.
The screaming tourists take pictures along with the
Iconic figure of that half fish-half woman as
A souvenir for posterity; their grins starkly
Incongruous against her suppressed pain;
Fascinated, I watch the Little Mermaid, a masterpiece
Of another masterpiece
Perched delicately on the rock, homeless, yet at home.
Mermaids fascinate mortals like the sirens
In the Odyssey.
On many lonely nights, I have heard them calling from
Across the distant seas, in my little home.
This mermaid is caught
Perfectly in a somber mood, pondering over the
Fate of unrequited love in the world of strange humans;
Standing there that wet afternoon
And being hit by the spring rain
In quaint Copenhagen where once
Vikings lived and went out in ships,
I see the vulnerable figure, this
Epitome of sacrifice and silence,
And her isolation on high tide and moonless nights
When her sisters call out her name but she pines
For her lost prince!
I peer closer as the warm drops cascade down my body
And find H. C. Andersen looking at me through her sad eyes!
In Copenhagen, along its winding alleys and arches,
Parks, woodlands and near the shore
You can still hear the footfalls of the cultural history.
Den lille havfrue -- Edvard Eriksen