Greenland: Among the Icebergs

As a photo enthusiast, I really am fascinated by nature and landscape photography.  And I'm a big fan of Camille Seaman, who is famous for photographing icebergs.  She captures the effects of climate change by merging the realms of science and art.  Camille said, "Art is not only important, it is necessary for us to communicate what is happening with our planet.  Without art I don't think we will ever truly be able to communicate what climate change is".  Nine years ago, I was so inspired by Camille's work "The Last Iceberg" that I wrote a poem about it. (Reprise below)

Still inspired by the beauty of nature, I recently traveled to Greenland to photograph and see the icebergs up close and personal. I literally only saw "the tip of the iceberg/s" (pun intended) because 85% (the bottom part of an iceberg) is submerged in water. I saw icebergs that vary in shapes and sizes: iceberg taller than a building, some with hollow caves and appeared to be melting, some with abstract art sitting atop a finely sculpted ice, and icebergs with blue lines.  Our guide said, the blue lines were fresh water from melted snow.  Unlike the freshwater icebergs calve from a glacier, the icebergs in South Greenland near the towns of Nanortalik and Qoqartoq are unique in that they're frozen ocean water that traveled from the east coast. 

While it's easy to describe the icebergs' physical appearance, the feeling of being among the icebergs is hard to describe. It was simply magical.  So, my hope in sharing these photos is not just to give you information but to help you feel something.


I took this photo from a distance to capture this massive iceberg

Like an abstract art sitting atop a finely sculpted base

Not that visible from this picture, but there's a bunch of blue lines.
The blue line is fresh water (melted show)

  • Inspired by Camille Seaman's photographs of icebergs and her work "The Last Iceberg", I wrote this poem back in 2013. 

The Last Iceberg

The iceberg defies gravity,
movement in its form.
Concrete enclosed in glass
Sweeping lines chiseled by a sculptor
Cracks hold the structure of packed ice.
Grey sky and lifeless sea
highlight its monochromatic color,
The illusion of a delicate beauty
a Meissen porcelain
The lines between the iceberg and the still dark water
gives contrast to the still form,
Life imitating art.

When I look beyond the form,
it is lifeless, haunting, floating
in suspended animation
Waiting to crash, but not anytime soon.
The more I look at the picture devoid of life
I long to hear water dripping
from the ice-packed structure
as it begins to shift and lose its grips.
I long to see pigeons emerging from the cracks,
polar bears emerging from season enforced imprisonment.
So far away from the rose-gardens and
and places where flowers will soon spring to life.

  • All photos by the author


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