chapter 21. Going Aboard. poem by Elizabeth Schultz. The Pequod’s Crew List.

THE PEQUOD’S CREW LIST

 

The Pequod’s crew list

is motley and familiar,

an Anacharsis Clootz

deputation, including

Ahab, Master, supreme

commander, presiding

over all, superlative

navigator, madman;

the three mates, ordinary

American white guys

with some convictions,

but not enough to change

the direction of a ship of state;

the four famed harpooners,

representing the globe and

diverse heroic possibilities;

men from Spain, Ireland,

England, Denmark, Sicily,

Tahiti, Malta, Holland, China,

France, the Azores, the Isles

of Man, in addition to Pip,

cabin-boy, and Fleece,

cook, black Americans,

both speaking truth to power,

though covertly; plus

Dough-Boy, too innocent,

innocuous, timid and pale,

to be included in discussions,

but going down with the rest,

except for Ishmael, Melville’s

secret sharer, doppelganger,

who knew and loved them all.

A crew list is a ship’s destiny.

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