Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Full fathom five my novel lies

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we're sharing a recently discovered poem by A. Poppet-Turning.  Devoted readers will remember this poet's Stack Fever, and despite our best efforts, we know nothing about the poet except that work and this newly discovered one, both found tucked into the Library's copy of English maritime books printed before 1801, apparently used as bookmarks.

Clearly a parody of Shakespeare's "Full Fathom Five" (read more about it in our initial blog post), this poem nevertheless conveys the heartbreak experienced by many a maritime reader--seeing your book vanish in "the drink!"

Happy National Poetry Month, and happy April 1!

Full fathom five my novel lies
It fell overboard--just rolled off my thighs!
Nothing of it that did float,
But soaking up water, its pages did bloat
Into something swollen and sunken.
A mystery novel, I should have held tight
But instead on this boat, with it did alight,
And this voyage I must now complete without it,
Not knowing at all if the butler did it.

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