Antarctica is where rootless wanderers eventually descend.
We meet a linguist who managed to settle down
in the only continent without languages.
Before the end, he’ll watch a penguin
walk off, driven, toward the center
of the continent and certain death.
We should all be so lucky.
Scientists build igloos, study glaciers, volcanoes, penguins.
The news they offer is grim – the human species is doomed.
Not from trendy dangers like global warming,
though images of glaciers the size of Rhode Island
breaking from the continent and melting mid ocean are chilling.
No, it’s just the nature of things.
There’s so much to see and talk about,
lust for exploration might be
the ultimate end of the world.
Maybe that deviant penguin
was just curious to explore and see what it could see.
(Source: Adapted from Peter Keough’s review of Werner Herzog’s film Encounters at the End of the World from The Portland Phoenix, July 25, 2008. The words in italics are my own.)