Great Humpback Breaching

Here’s a poem of mine I managed to find (I’m not the most organized person) which was published in a little, free poetry journal in the Summer of 1997 called Nomad’s Choir.  It was inspired by a scuplture by the famous marine artist, Wyland

He’s an amazing artist and a smart businessman as well.  He allows people to buy his art on credit through his gallery with no interest, which means you don’t have to be rich to afford fine art when it comes in low monthly payments.  Fortunately, he also happens to be my husband’s and my favorite artist, so that all worked out really well for us.  We bought a sculpture of a humpback whale breaching (lifting up out of the water) as a present to ourselves when we got engaged.

When we bought the scuplture, we were told we could get a handwritten note from Wyland, which we were very excited about.  The sales lady said she’d buy a card and have him sign it.  We thought that was odd and a bit out of her way, so we offered to get the card, but she said no, no — she’d take care of it all.  Well, she didn’t, and she basically never wanted to talk to us again after the sale was final.

At the time, Wyland’s business manager was his mom, so I got in touch with mom and explained what happened with the saleswoman (in other words, I told on her).  I don’t think that saleswoman worked there for very long.  Wyland’s mom was super nice and took care of it for us; we picked out a card, and she had him sign it.  She told us to let her know what we wanted him to say, and I had him write this rather long note.  Looking back on it now, it seems a bit rude of me to make him write so much, but also kind of funny. 

So that is the story behind the the sculpture which inspired the poem, Great Humpback Breaching…

Great Humpback Breaching
by Edie Montgomery-Pool

Great humpback breaching,
In summer’s glassy waters,
Such beauty and strength combine
In your immense and graceful lines.
What icy coldness could possess
Any man to slaughter
Gods’ wondrous work of art
In these still and peacefull waters?
Are their hearts beyond all reaching,
Oh, great humpback breaching?


I grant permission for this poem to be reprinted in full or in part electronically, provided the following conditions are met: 1) the author’s name is listed; 2) the site on which the poem is published is not a vanity publisher or a scam poetry contest which requires its “winners” to make a purchase or pay a fee before being published. I grant permission for this poem to be reprinted non-electronically (as in, paper) provided the previous two conditions are met, as well as 3) the publication is for either a charitable or non-profit event or organization and 4) no fee is charged for the publication in which the poem appears. A comment notifying me you have used this poem is appreciated but not required.


  1. Nice! I really like the repetition in this. And the story about the note is a hoot.

  2. Thanks, Sharon. 🙂

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