Poetry: Chris Orsman: South (1996/1999, Faber and Faber)
A New Zealand poet, Orsman travelled to Antarctica in 1998. He has a tenuous (but funny) family connection to Robert Falcon Scott, and this poetry collection is about Scott’s ill-fated expedition to be the first to the South Pole.
The poems never really escape the monolithic Scott myth, except for this small offering (also the best poem in the collection):
Postscript – 29 March 1912
A masterly silence is called for
as Oates tried to put on his footgear.
He opened the tent flaps, still in his socks.
He said something else, but we forgot.