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Finding Melville’s Whale: Chapter 6 – The Street

Chapter 6 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.
The Street

Walking the streets of New Bedford, Ishmael
stumbles among the vast sea of seamen,
harpooners traveling across the world

to hunt the giant, legend of the deep.
And joined in this hunt are men of the wood,
hardened from felling trees. And the bumpkins,

unsuited to the waves, their trip will be short.
Many die at sea, some are killed by it,
still fewer are made rich by the waters.

Upon this gold their town was built, oil.
light of New Bedford and heart of whaling.
What good is gold that burns and seeps away.


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


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