Finding Melville’s Whale: Chapter 2 – The Carpet Bag

Chapter 2 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 Carpet Bag

South he journeys, to the island from which
the new world whaling ships unfurled their sails
and raised anchor, but the ferry has left.

Instead he seeks lodging in this Carthage,
where the taverns howl with joy. But he seeks
quieter, cheaper defense from the cold.

The wind, when it howls, is comfort or curse.
From a warm bed, comfort. From the street, curse.
The wind that howls within cannot be stilled

by a well-built wall. Those that endure it
must always endure. But perhaps some calm
can be procured within the Spouter-Inn.


  1. Michael Bok · August 30, 2010

    Did anyone else imagine hearing a record scratch when Ishmael stumbled into the black church?

  2. Jason R · August 30, 2010

    I think I will just wait for the movie. With Danny Glover playing the part of Ahab. And the part of thewhale being played by, um, a dragon. Yeah.

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