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A trio of superb poems about steamboats

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The reverse can be true. A poet who is not banal can paint, with just a line or two, a picture that is worth a thousand words. Such a poet can even convey certain sounds that a mute painting or photograph cannot.

Two poems and a song about stevedores

There is no dearth of artworks depicting stevedores (or dockers, as they are called in the UK). In contrast, poems by famous authors about these waterfront workers are few and far between. In fact, I have found only three…

Three short but powerful poems about water

Like the lens of a camera, poetry can put reality into sharper focus and prod us to see the world with fresh eyes. The following poems written by three famous poets are about water, a subject many people tend to take for granted. They are notable for their effective use of rhythm, diction and imagery to deliver a philosophical message.

A badass song for today’s shipping world

I recently watched the Netflix TV series ‘Inside Man‘. The theme song,‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’ by American singer John Grant, immediately caught my ear. Somehow it reminded me of certain players in the shipping world, particularly those who contribute in one way or another to the suffering of seafarers and other people.

Inspired by poetry: Mendelssohn’s symphonic seascape

In 1795 the famous German poet and author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, wrote a pair of sea poems. Both are short. The first (Meeresstille, or Calm at Sea) consists of only eight lines; the second (Glückliche Fahrt, or The Prosperous Voyage), 10 lines. However, they would inspire Felix Mendelssohn to compose a captivating concert overture which borrowed the titles of Goethe’s poems and was first performed in 1828.

‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’: An old poem for modern times

I ran across a poem which I thought would be good to share with readers of Marine Café Blog, especially those who work at sea. ‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’ was written by L. H. Sigourney (1791—1865), an American poet and schoolteacher. The poem is included in her 1850 book, Poems for the Sea. Although not particularly striking, it is worth reading because of its message and the prayer-like sincerity of the words.

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