270 words • 1~2 min read

Finding Melville’s Whale: The Cabin Table (Chapter 34)

Thanks to everyone who stuck around during our blog vacation. Our adventure into Moby Dick continues with chapter 34 – The Cabin Table. Read along with us and discuss this chapter or the book as a whole in the comments. Visit this page for the complete collection to date: Finding Melville’s Whale.

The Cabin Table

Down went Ahab, to the Captain’s Table
to dine silently among men of rank,
then Starbuck, then Stubb, then Flask at the last.

The poor officer ranked forth among men
who must eat last and finish first, hunger
is his eternal companion.

After the officers finish their meals,
it is time for the harpooners to dine,
the great savages, ranked above the crew.

Not by beef or bread are giants made,
nor are their brutal manners forgotten,
yet the cabin is theirs for the eating.

Pity poor Dough-boy, he must satisfy
their ravenous appetite and abide
the cannibal customs of savage men.


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


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