Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Going to Sea

Scientists go to sea for all sorts of reasons. We write those reasons in proposals, and then someone gives us the money we need to do our research. But we also go to sea because we love the sea. This cruise is almost over, and I don’t know how long it will be before I get to go again. Even though I’m homesick for New York while I’m here, I sometimes get homesick for the sea when I’m in New York.

When I’m at home and thinking about the ocean, I sometimes like to read what other people have written about it. Here is one my favorite poems in the whole world, by e.e. cummings:

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

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