First-night Watch and Midnight, Forecastle (Finding Melville’s Whale Chapters 39 and 40)

After reading some of the reviews from our Readers’ Survey, many people list these among their favorite posts, while many others consider them their least favorite. So, we’ve decided to change the posting schedule for Finding Melville’s Whale. From now on, one or two new entries will appear every Sunday, instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. We hope you will continue reading along with us as we dive deeper in Melville’s masterpiece.

First-night Watch

While Ahab and Starbuck parry their thoughts
into prophecies of vengeance and doom,
wise Stubb sits aloft, thoughtless and joyful

Midnight, Forecastle

They sing and dance and fight and smoke, the crew
men before the mast
while captain and ranked men sit solemnly
pondering their fates.

The crew has drunken in its white whale oaths
and their whale whale dooms.

The squall rises in the darkness.
The squall
that will fall with them.