Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet
by Tony Hoagland
Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
to hold your sharpened weapon high,
to see the glisten
of the beast beneath the waves. (45-47)
Even though he's imagining hunting a whale, there's still a sense of wonder and celebration of the animal, a real awe at its size and power. The wildness and adventure our speaker craves wouldn't be possible without the whale.
What a relief it would be
to hear someone in the crew
cry out like a gull. (48-50)
Want more proof that a big part of the appeal, for our speaker, is the connection to nature? Look at what the simile here does: it compares a crewman to a gull. The man's animal side can be expressed on the boat. Our speaker, sadly, doesn't feel that he can find a way to stand up on his seat cushion and express his more primal urges among his fellow airline passengers.