So, Herman, what demons swim through your mind
that you make a monster of a harmless mammal,
singing to its fellows in the depths of the sea ?
Why did you people your Pequod with
scarred sailors and scared savages;
why did you press your pages with
twisted scriptures and sea spirits,
making us call you Ishmael ?
Or is it we who are denied
dreams born of dwelling by the deep ;
of truths torn from
seasons on the restless strand between sea and shore ?
Not knowing Nantucket,
do we not know our natures ?
What it must be to pit puny men
against the wrath of the waves.
A hand-held harpoon
or an enfolding cocoon ?