Poetry Night on Leg 3

The “Old Women by the Sea” poem by Pablo Neruda; the “I’ve known rivers” words of poet Langston Hughes. A song about a love potion gone awry. An original music video about hydrothermal vents. A photo essay about Iceland. A shaggy dog story about an old sea Captain who becomes a parent in a surprising way; a family story about a girl, a boy, and a pig…in Philadelphia. A sea chanty. A freshly written poem about ROPOS and ROCLS, with more than a hint of romance.  It all happened last night in the Library on board the R/V Thompson.

For many years, on any cruise where John Delaney has been Chief Scientist, there has been a poetry night. How that got started is a story in itself that involves a bosun from Woods Hole and a disagreement about whether Robert Service or Robert Frost is the better poet.  Ask John to tell you the whole tale the next time you see him.

On this leg of the VISIONS ’13 expedition, poetry (and prose and song and story) night took place as we made the 18-hour transit from Axial Seamount to the RSN site at the base of the slope of the continental margin off Oregon. It was a time when many of us had a chance to take a pause from round-the-clock work, although there were plenty of others who kept right on going, running the ship and preparing for the next ROPOS dive.

For those of us who got a chance to be in the Library, it was a delightful opportunity to share laughs, appreciate each other’s creativity and talents, and just generally enjoying being together in this different way.

Contributed by Nancy Penrose, RSN Communications Coordinator