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John Marr and Other Poems

Herman Melville

Book Overview: 

Collection of poems by Herman Melville

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Bon Homme Dick o' the buff Revolution,
The Black Cockade and the staunch True-Blue.

Doff hats to Decatur! But where is his blazon?
Must merited fame endure time's wrong—
Glory's ripe grape wizen up to a raisin?
Yes! for Nature teems, and the years are
    strong,
And who can keep the tally o' the names that
    fleet along!

But his frigate, wife, his bride? Would
    blacksmiths brown
Into smithereens smite the solid old renown?
Rivetting the bolts in the iron-clad's shell,
Hark to the hammers with a rat-tat-tat;
"Handier a derby than a laced cocked hat!
The Monitor was ugly, but she served us right
    well,
Better than the Cumberland, a beauty and the
    belle."

Better than the Cumberland!. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I always struggle with poetry. I can either read it as a lyric and get the rhyming and rhythm down so it sounds good, but I miss some meaning. I can read it for meaning alone and miss the musicality of it. I think I need to always read poetry 2 or 3 times to be able to get both meaning and the co...more

I didn't care much for the longer pieces, the dialect infused into the poems, or the loose meter in a lot of it. However, I really enjoyed the short lyrical poems; I'd have read more of that sort. It's obvious Melville is quite capable of metrical proficiency, so it's curious that he did so poorl...more