Alaska is Poetry


Stephanie Gallo, Expedition Guide, Safari Endeavour

This past summer was full of poetry, figuratively and literally.

Alaska is always figurative poetry, but aboard the Safari Endeavour, one form of communication dominated over all others: haikus.

To do lists were counted out by syllables, jokes were written in the ancient style, and even permitting information was exchanged via haiku.

For those not familiar with the haiku, here is a haiku about how many syllables are in a haiku:

The first line is five

The second one is seven

Round it out with five

It is easy to spot a haiku in the making, the artist starts with a sticky pad and a pen and is seen tapping out syllable counts on their fingers.

We wrote haikus about our surroundings:

Alaskan waters

Salty, cold, and refreshing

Perfect polar plunge

Kayaking in Alaska

We wrote haikus about a day on board:

‘Fantail, Fantail, Phil’

A call goes out to leave home

‘Go for Fantail, Phil

Disembark the skiff

Exploratory bushwhack

Wet and muddy boots

‘Fantail, Fantail, Phil’

A call goes out to come home

‘Go for Fantail, Phil”

We wrote haikus about permitting usage reports:

Eleven, thirteen

Twenty-two, twenty-one, twelve

Went to shore today

We wrote romantic haikus about medical drills onboard:

Moonlight in Alaska

When you look at me

My heart goes pitter patter

Help! Start CPR!

But maybe one of the best lines of poetry from the season wasn’t even a haiku:

There are big ships and there are small ships

There are tall ships and there are UnCruise ships

But the best ship of all is friendship.

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