“Some years ago, never mind how long precisely, having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
Ishmael believed everyone had a special attraction to the sea, and in his case especially, whenever ennui grabbed hold he would go to the sea. Clearly one of those times, Ishmael decides to find a ship about to set sail and talk his way into a job on board. Out of three ships, Ishmael chooses Captain Ahab’s whaler, the Pequod. With foreboding reverence, he describes her façade:
…a rare old craft… She was a ship of the old school, rather small if anything; with an old fashioned claw-footed look about her. Long seasoned and weather-stained in the typhoons and calms of all four oceans, her old hull’s complexion was darkened like a French grenadier’s, who has alike fought in Egypt and Siberia. Her venerable bows looked bearded. Her masts… stood stiffly up like the spines of the three old kings of Cologne. Her ancient decks were worn and wrinkled, like the pilgrim-worshipped flag-stone in Canterbury Cathedral where Beckett bled.”
—Moby-Dick, Ch. 16
Give life to a boat, ship, or sailing vessel. In this poetry prompt, write a poem describing its appearance. Give your vessel human or animal-like features, or perhaps like Melville, attributes from historical artifacts. What makes your ship unique? You can choose a boat familiar to you, pick an infamous one (like Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge), or write a poem based on the ship you see in the photograph above.
Thanks to all who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Robbie we enjoyed:
Nestled Mountain Lake
Cradled in the puddle of lake
The canoe rises, falls and drifts
As the wind cascades down
The circle of mountains.
Now that you’ve been inspired, steady your sea legs, write a poem and share it with us! We’ll be reading. 🙂
Photo by John Benwell, Creative Commons, via Flickr.