Amends to the Albatross — Episode Ten, Res Publica, Live on Radio NZ

Res Publica, read by Stuart Devenie, on Radio New Zealand

Res Publica, read by Stuart Devenie, on Radio New Zealand Nine-to-Noon

Listen now.

You can read notes on the previous episode here.

In this Episode Ten, Arcady sets sail to his island in an old Purse-Seiner he’s packed with supplies and named Tug of War (the boat purchased with the money invested by his wife).

Upon reaching the island, however, the sea is much rougher than during either of his two previous visits. Arcady sees that it’s impossible to safely land the boat, and, frustrated by this unexpected turn of events, decides to crash the boat straight into the island.

Having crashed the boat, he awakes on the island and celebrates his survival. He thinks he hears a voice in his head uttering strange words and he wonders if he’s going mad; but he soon discovers its source.

This is where the Book One of Res Publica ends, marking half the story. The second half — about what happens on the island — is told in Book Two.

The final episode will be broadcast at 10:45am, tomorrow, on Radio NZ’s Nine-to-Noon program.

A note about the stanza form:

The verse is now structured in 14-line stanzas, with a rhyme scheme of abbaccdedeffgg. Some lines, of course — even entire stanzas here and there — were cut or altered to fit the audio segments.

An example of a stanza from Episode Ten:

The wind tried hard to hold me back; it
madly wiped my tears and filled
my ears with caution – “You’ll be killed!” –
and made a mainsail of my jacket,
which spasmed, crackled, slapped my face
with its loose collar. That airy embrace
was steady, strong, but lacked the muscular
pluck of swarthy Tug, who rammed
me through each wave in that crepuscular
spread of sparkling violet jam.
How thick a sea can seem to one
whose journey – whose life – is almost done;
how far each wave, how long each second,
when one’s demise is finally reckoned.

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