Home > New Classics > Ishmael’s Concordance

Ishmael’s Concordance

May 19, 2010

by Scott Wiggerman

Think, Ahab,
of three last things:
water, whale, world.

Harpooners know,
sailors, hands—
Queequeg, Starbuck, Stubb.

See, Captain,
the long looks, far eyes
among day, night, sea.

The great Pequod,
once right, seems
small, still, old.

Aye, good Sir,
something soon parts:
a leg, a line, a life.

Oh, take the whole:
air, ship, time,
gods, men, white.

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Scott Wiggerman (website) is the author of two books of poetry, Vegetables and Other Relationships and Presence, forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press this year. A frequent workshop instructor, he is also an editor for Dos Gatos Press, publisher of the annual Texas Poetry Calendar, now in its thirteenth year. In his cover letter, he described “Ishmael’s Concordance” as “an experimental poem using 50 of the 100 most common words in Melville’s Moby-Dick.”

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  1. Karen Stromberg
    May 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    What a wonderful poem, both a tribute to and the essence of “Moby Dick.”

  2. May 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    wow, this was a great full read

  3. owcnblog
    May 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Love this…

  4. May 20, 2010 at 2:30 am

    This is terrific, and all the more impressive after finding out how it was written. Much enjoyed.

  5. Heather Reid
    May 20, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Great poem. Love the way it was created, an interesting idea and one that obviously worked.

  6. May 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Lots of work Scott. You are truly focused!

  7. May 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

    It works. Bravo. What an intriguing idea.

  8. May 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Where did you get that idea? Amazing, and so many different levels of how it can be seen/ interpreted.

  9. JJS
    June 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    So many things that are clever are heartless: this is what clever should be – a boiling down to the heart of things.

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