Author Topic: The Letters and Art of Old Weather  (Read 53243 times)

Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2011, 05:15:32 pm »
ya know, after a while, Vogan poetry doesn't seem so bad... :P

Kathy

Caro

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7121
  • Our end is Life. Put out to sea. Louis MacNeice
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 05:19:53 pm »
Oh yes it does.

Bunting Tosser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2697
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 05:43:46 pm »
I have translated another even more mercifully short Vogon poem.

Are you sure that's Vogon? It seems like it may be Eric Cantonese.

Against the very remote possibility that anyone is in doubt as to the authenticity of this correspondence, see:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/vogonpoetry/lettergen.shtml


Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2011, 09:43:22 pm »
This one came from Bunt's postings in the Riveting Log Entries thread - I got to thinking about all that death and destruction -

U21

I stalk the waves unseen.
I drift unheard, implacable, waiting.
I am the scream of the Banshee,
the snarl of the wolf.
I am the shadow of the raven
on the sea below.
I have no name -
I need no name.
I open and spit out the fire of Pele.
I am the lightning of Zeus,
the spear of Tyr.
I am the acolyte of Athena
and the altar of Mars.
Did they know what they did,
when I was given life?
I am Death come among them.

Bunting Tosser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2697
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2011, 12:29:57 am »
U21

That is chilling.

Have you seen Das Boot? One of the best films I've seen; but I've not seen that many in the last 30 years.

It shows the U-boat campaign from both sides.

Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2011, 02:57:50 pm »
This one is for Memorial Day - the day here in the US that we honor those who have given their lives in service to their country.

Memory

I am young and
I want to forget.
The smell and slop,
the noise and the awful silence.
I see the faces -
scared, sad, mad -
friends and more than friends,
brothers one and all.
I am young and
I want to forget.

I am old and
I want to remember.
The laughter, and
yes, the tears.
The good and the bad.
I want to see the faces -
scared, sad, mad.
My brothers who shared this with me,
something deeper than love,
stronger than death.
Bound forever.
I am old and
I want to remember.

I am young and
I want to honor,
those who gave their all.
They shared something deeper than love,
stronger than death.
I never want to forget them,
what they suffered...
what they shared.
I am young and
I want to honor.



Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2011, 08:30:27 pm »
I have been doing some work on the Mantua, which is in 1915 for me now and on patrol.  There is always a log entry about darkening the ship, so that image led to the image of the only light being the moon and stars, which led to this -

The Silver Stair
 
The moon lets down its silver stair,
It shimmers the water and sparkles the air.
Its treads are the way
for those that have gone into night, from day.
 
There may come a time,
when I too shall make that long climb,
following the brave and the bold,
and go to that place where none grow old.
 
But my heart cries out
and I whisper (in my soul it's a shout),
not yet, oh please, not yet.
I'll swear any oath; incur any debt.
 
Let me make it to hearth and kin,
and hold my sweet love in my arms once again.
Someday I'll climb that silver flight,
but not tonight, please, not tonight.

Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2011, 02:33:33 am »
The real story behind the series of unfortunate events on the HMS Ribble.

The Curse of the HMS Ribble

It was a night, dark and stormy,
and the bar was nice and homey,
when a man, wild of eye and hair walked in -
"Barkeep", he said, "bring me some gin!"

A sailor's cap he had on his head,
and on the ribbon it said -
HMS Ribble.
He saw us all staring at it,
and onto the floor he spit.
Oh, aye 'tis my ship, that be,
and its been a long, hard time at sea.

If you here assembled do will,
and my glass you promise to fill,
I'll tell you my tale of woe,
I'd not wish it on any foe -
The curse of the HMS Ribble.

Our captain called the sea witch a bad name,
which really offended that nasty beldame.
Yes, we picked up a curse
and things just went from bad to worse.

Our troubles began while we were dry docked,
the rudders we could not get unlocked,
and we ran up on a small barge.
(the captain blamed the officer in charge!)
The sea witch smiled and said, "That's right",
you can struggle with all of your might,
but you will never be able to fight,
the curse of the HMS Ribble.

the harbor boom trapped us within -
we snuck out through the sub pen.
We had trouble keeping up our steam,
in that hag's eyes we saw such a gleam.
Many items went over and were sunk,
but worst of all, our toilets stunk!

The ship's crew gathered up on the foredeck,
and said to the captain, what the heck?!
You really must take care of this,
because now we've go no where to pi@@!
Please ask the sea witch to lift the curse,
or...not for anything, you might need a hearse.

So the captain of the HMS Ribble,
apologized in fits, starts, and dribbles.
The sea witch replied with a loud roar,
don't insult me sir, please anymore.
He agreed and the curse was soon lifted,
the ship was scrubbed, painted, refitted.
And so ends this tale of hardship and woe -
the curse of the HMS Ribble!

« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 04:53:01 pm by wendolk »

Bunting Tosser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2697
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2011, 02:55:20 am »
The Curse of the HMS Ribble

You have excelled yourself in accuracy, especially this bit:
when a man, wild of eye and hair walked in

Have you been peeping?

Our convoy ship has just been sunk. (See Riveting Log Entries)
It seems you have weakened the curse. We salvaged that French destroyer recently, and rescued all but three of the 800, or so, souls aboard SS Cestrian.


Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2011, 07:20:21 pm »
Earlier I did something from the point of view of a U boat - which got me to thinking about what would be the point of view of a surface ship.  I decided she would think of herself as a shield maiden riding forth into battle.

Visna

My steed is strong and restless,
ready to charge into battle.
We fight an unseen foe,
that attacks with out warning,
and is utterly with out honor.
Those in my care look to
my strong arm for protection.

My sisters and I ride
out of storm and fire.
Our pennons wave bravely,
caught high in the wind.
We charge our nemesis,
driving him to his ruin.

And, if it be so ordained,
I will give myself to the depths.
I know my memory will be
enshrined in the hearts
of those that ride with me,
forever faithful, forever vigilant.


Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2011, 04:10:53 am »

Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2011, 03:38:44 pm »
I have been seeing a lot of dancing lately - my niece is a very good dancer (she gets it from my sister-in-law, her mother) and I have been seeing her perform in several pieces recently.  Once I got to see my sister-in-law dance and I will never forget the look on her face as she moved - it wasn't the dance itself so much as her expression as she danced that has stuck with me all these years.  It also seems to me that the universe itself dances around us, so those feelings led to this -

The Great Dance
(For Chris)

The night is crystal clear - alive, breath held
I hear the sea, restless, impatient, eager
Whispering, begging, "Join, join me now!"
Seized with desire, longing, something I cannot name,
I begin to step, timid, then stronger, and stronger again.
My heart sings with the whale,
my feet moves with the stars,
my soul laughs with the dolphins.
I see the planets,
no, I AM the planets,
weaving around the Maypole sun.
And the universe within,
and the universe without,
join, build, explode -
I am transfixed, burning in a joy
so deep, so alive,
I cannot breathe, I cannot see.
Do you hear me?  Do you hear the sea?
we are yearning, whispering  "Join us, join us now!"
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 10:19:07 pm by wendolk »

philip.brohan

  • Old Weather Team
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 198
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2011, 10:40:42 pm »
A US colleague pointed out to me that poetry has had at least one big effect on naval history on that side of the pond. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote this about the impending decomissioning of USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) in 1830 - it started a public subscription campaign which saved the ship.

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered bulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

We've seen some great pictures (mostly from Caro), and verse (mostly from Kathy). Does anyone have any musical talent? I'm tone deaf, but I remember singing 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?' and 'Spanish Ladies' when I was in primary school. How about an OldWeather shanty - a working song to be sung while digitising?

Kathy

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2763
  • In the beginning was the sea...
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2011, 06:06:34 am »
Phillip -

thanks for the complement - I wasn't sure how this was being received - thanks for adding to the thread -

there are 3 songs -

one for Bunts and DJ, a lament for a ship that left ya behind, and then of course, a catchy little ditty I like to call TRANSCRIBE -
which is now stuck in my head  ;D

I hope people feel free to add to this thread - I have been toying with an honest to goodness sea ballad - maybe this will get someone to do something too.

Janet Jaguar

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10205
  • Smell the sea, feel the sky, & fly into the mystic
    • View Profile
Re: The Letters and Art of Old Weather
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2011, 12:40:38 am »
I love this thread, but don't have a poet's brain cell anywhere.  When I go mystic, it tends to also be wordless.  But this kind of word picture does feed my heart.