What Would You Say to Harto, Now that So Many Whales Are Gone?

I rarely quote a passage as long as the one that follows. But the words, ideas, and the pictures said words painted in my mind stayed with me the first time I read Moby-Dick, when I was a teenager. They continued to resonate the second time I read the book, as a younger woman. And now, my third time around, well… the words just leave me incredibly troubled. I wanted to post this wee chunk from the novel, and persuade you to share your thoughts on the topic.

“Natural as it is to be somewhat incredulous concerning the populousness of the more enormous creatures of the globe, yet what shall we say to Harto, the historian of Goa, when he tells us that at one hunting the King of Siam took 4000 elephants; that in those regions elephants are numerous as droves of cattle in the temperate climes. And there seems no reason to doubt that if these elephants, which have now been hunted for thousands of years, by Semiramis, by Porus, by Hannibal, and by all the successive monarchs of the East—if they still survive there in great numbers, much more may the great whale outlast all hunting, since he has a pasture to expatiate in, which is precisely twice as large as all Asia, both Americas, Europe and Africa, New Holland, and all the isles of the sea combined.            

Moreover: we are to consider, that from the presumed great longevity of whales, their probably attaining the age of a century and more, therefore at any one period of time, several distinct adult generations must be contemporary. And what that is, we may soon gain some idea of, by imagining all the graveyards, cemeteries, and family vaults of creation yielding up the live bodies of all the men, women, and children who were alive seventy-five years ago; and adding this countless host to the present human population of the globe.

Wherefore, for all these things, we account the whale immortal in his species, however perishable in his individuality. He swam the seas before the continents broke water; he once swam over the site of the Tuileries, and Windsor Castle, and the Kremlin. In Noah’s flood he despised Noah’s Ark; and if ever the world is to be again flooded, like the Netherlands, to kill off its rats, then the eternal whale will still survive, and rearing upon the topmost crest of the equatorial flood, spout his frothed defiance to the skies.”

So… my Wicked Luvs, care to share your thoughts?

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Moby-Dick“Moby-Dick”
via

Stupidity Kills the Mind and Maims So Many Souls

I was rereading some of the blackout poems I’ve crafted these last few weeks, and noticed a fist-pumping, teeth-baring, hope-seeking (and giving) theme. I wanted to share what I saw… so I took the poem bits… and made a poem… out of poems (only the italicized words are new). I’m linking my poetic Frankenstein to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Tuesday Platform).

“Stupidity Kills the Mind and Maims So Many Souls”

Be wild magic.
Retaliate to basic—
be brave.
Do words.

Grumble savage songs
to men, give shadow magic;
carve a wonder spell.
War doesn’t help—
stupidity kills
the mind (and maims
so many souls)
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Love yourself
(and others)
from all angles,
and blossom.

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The original Poem Bits:
1. Be Wild

2. Retaliate

3. Do Words

4. Shadow Magic

5. War

6. Stupidity

7. Blossom