234 words • < 1 min read

Finding Melville’s Whale: Chapter 1 – Loomings

Chapter 1 of the classic Moby Dick by Herman Melville, summarized in verse. Read along with us and discuss this chapter or the book as a whole in the comments.

Loomings

To rise and fall, as the sea does, the will
of a man who chooses death by water.
This is the only story left to tell.

Journeys always begin where the shore ends.
All footsteps flow forwards towards the sea
but this journey’s end is the ocean’s will.

No passenger may be carried along
on their own journey, nor may the glory
of command distract from the reverence

of toil, of drudgery, of service
to the ship, to the sea, and to the voice,
our narrator, who calls himself Ishmael.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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