Literature

Poetry of Romantic and Economic Man

John Masefield’s “Cargoes” is a very fine poem, packing an enormous amount of imagery and atmosphere into eighty-seven words. It is clear, vivid and immediate, and has been deservedly enshrined as a classic and repeatedly anthologised: Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir, Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine, With a cargo of ivory, And apes and peacocks, Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine. Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus, Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores, With a cargo of diamonds, Emeralds, amethysts, Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores. Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,…

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