Sunday, March 18, 2007


Spent a good bit of yesterday on a boat with my ma, who's visiting from PEI. While not gazing gobstruck at the scenery, we talked of many things, including poetry. Though she isn't a great reader of it, like most people, there are things that stick in her head. She told me that there are aural qualities in my poems that remind her of John Masefield. I haven't read much Masefield, but have long loved his classic anthology piece, "Cargoes," which my mother was thinking of specifically--though that might be because we were watching a huge barge being pulled by a tug at the time.


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.


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