American Literature of the Sea and Great Lakes
SIEGEL, ROBERT HAROLD (1939- ). Growing up in the Midwest, Robert Harold Siegel also spent time on Long Island’s Jones Beach, cruised the Caribbean,* and currently sails and whale-watches off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, and California. His Whalesong trilogy is based on his underwater swimming in Lake Michigan. This fantasy cycle chronicles humpback whales and creates a fictional whale culture. Book One, Whale- song (1981), recounts the youth and adulthood of a mythical whale, Hruna, who takes a Lonely Cruise and then the Plunge, a mystical journey in which he experiences the Whale of Light. Book Two, White Whale (1991), recounts the life of Hruna’s offspring, Hralekana-Kolua, whose experiences include establishing friendship with a human boy, mating, and becoming gravely injured attempting to save his friend’s ship. In Book Three, The Ice at the End of the World (1994), Hralekana-Kolua recovers, battles the mythical Kraken, rejoins his pod, and leads them through danger to new krill beds.
Siegel’s poems, many about bodies of water, sailors, whales, and water creatures, appear in the collections The Beasts & the Elders (1973) and In a Pig’s Eye (1980).