fata morgana. a mirage by any other name?


Origin:

Italian, literally ‘fairy Morgan’; originally referring to a mirage seen in the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily and attributed to  Morgan le Fay, whose legend and reputation were carried to Sicily by Norman settlers

Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage)

poems
O sweet illusions of song
That tempt me everywhere,
In the lonely fields, and the throng
Of the crowded thoroughfare!I approach and ye vanish away,
I grasp you, and ye are gone;
But ever by night and by day,
The melody soundeth on.As the weary traveller sees
In desert or prairie vast,
Blue lakes, overhung with trees
That a pleasant shadow cast;Fair towns with turrets high,
And shining roofs of gold,
That vanish as he draws nigh,
Like mists together rolled —

So I wander and wander along,
And forever before me gleams
The shining city of song,
In the beautiful land of dreams.

But when I would enter the gate
Of that golden atmosphere,
It is gone, and I wonder and wait
For the vision to reappear.

see also andre breton. fata morgana.
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