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This poem is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

Old Whaling Days
from The Personal Narrative of William Barron, Captain. Hull, 1895
Lesley Harrison
1.
about 3 in the afternoon we got fast to a large fish.
after a flourish
she succumbed to us.

2.
the sea began to increase, with showers of snow
as she was hastening towards the
outside of the fiord,
it was with difficulty
they could lash the fins together
and tow her to a place of shelter.

3.
the whale became furious
rolling over and over near us
when she struck the boat,
leaving some of her skin on the sheets.
the harpooner fired a bomb lance
which exploded in a vital part

4.
I saw her under water
...


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