Daniel Payne: Out of Mystic

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Payne The Line

“My project combined photographs and poems from the voyage, and sought to give a sense of both the 38th Voyage and what it must have been like to sail on a whaler like the Morgan during the heyday of the whaling industry in the mid-nineteenth century. The project was inspired by the voyage itself, as well as by Melville’s Moby-Dick, and by the photo poem work of my friends Jim and Carol McCord.

“As you’ll notice, each poem is comprised by eight lines of free verse (the 1850s were the decade in which Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was first published, so this seemed particularly appropriate) and by a three-line epigraph from Moby-Dick. The poems move back and forth from the present time back to the 1850s, in an attempt to bring past and present together in their imagery and themes.

“My plan is to continue with the project until I have about fifty photo-poems, thereby making a book length collection commemorating the 38th Voyage.”