Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A Mermaid by John Williams Waterhouse, 1901


Recently there has been debate
and wild imagination,
On the subject of mermaids, their temperaments,
and their subaquatic nation.

Pirates* sought a mermaid's tear
And a fountain to keep youth fresh,
But the mermaids which they found then lured the crew
to bloody and violent deaths.

It reminded me of Peter Pan,
written by James M. Barrie;
When the Darling children accompanied Peter
on Adventures, bright and merry.

Wendy pleaded to see the mermaids,
"How sweet!" said she, but upon Peter's worried glance;
"Are mermaids not sweet?" she asks,
He answers, "They'll sweetly drown you, if given the chance."

A hundred years apart, these tales,
yet both comment on the sinister hidden under the fair.
As like the sea in which they live,
these mermaids with long, flowing hair.

But a lighter side to the mermaid, there is-
Captured in this quaint little chant;
Ogden Nash comments not on her personality- or morality-
But simply what she can do and what she can't!

The Mermaid
by Ogden Nash

Say not the mermaid is a myth,
        I knew one once named Mrs. Smith.
                She stood while playing cards or knitting;
          Mermaids are not equipped for sitting.

*Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides

Disney's Peter Pan "We were only trying to drown her..."
2003 version of Peter Pan; A great deal more sinister.
The Sleeping Mermaid, by Josephine Wall
Beware White Cap Cove.



  1. thanks for the dangerously beautiful post!
    i like mermaids, even tho they would eat me...

  2. I've always been a little creeped out by mermaids... something about their tales and their fishy scales. (Hey, I rhymed!)

    I do like that picture of the mermaid from Peter Pan though. She looks wonderfully evil.

  3. I know it may be because I'm a fan of the overall series, or that it's "new", but I was thrilled with the POTC mermaids! The effects were fantastic! I loved how the tails were longer looking than your "typical" mermaid depiction. It made them more believable. Like they had the strength in those muscles to take down the sailors/boats/whatever got in their way! :)

  4. Nice roundup of all known mermaids! I'm with Jennifer, though... they do creep me out a bit. Probably because of Splash, a movie that almost put me off Tom Hanks for life (don't worry; I recovered!).

  5. LOL. I love Tom Hanks! (I agree with you about "Splash", though! But I remind myself that it was very early in his career. ;) )