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There is a difference between prose and poetry but some prose has the texture of poetic lines.

      

Many questions about God, man, and nature are raised in Melville's hunt for the great white whale. Consider: defiance... hatred...can this be beauty? Keats reminds us, "All Beauty is not necessarily lovely."

Melville once wrote to Nathaniel Hawthorne: "I am inclined to think that God cannot explain His own secrets and that He would like a little information upon points Himself. We mortals astonish Him as much as He us."

 

Poetic Lines from Herman Melville's Moby Dick

 

Captain Ahab:
"Ego non batizo te in nomine patris sed in nomine diaboli."

 

"What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my own proper, natural heart, I durst not so much as dare?  Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm?"

"Oh, lonely death on lonely life. Oh, now I feel my topmost greatness in my topmost grief . . . Toward thee I roll thou all destroying but unconquering whale, to the last I grapple with thee, from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."

. . . "Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf, a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed . . . and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

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