Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post Reply
User avatar
Tizer
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 11515
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 19:46
Location: Somerset, UK

Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tizer » 02 Nov 2013, 11:31

For those of you not already familiar with the poem here is `The nautilus and the ammonite'. These were similar creatures but the ammonites died out in the geological past and we only know them from their fossils; the nautilus still survives in our oceans.

The nautilus and the ammonite

The nautilus and the ammonite
Were launched in friendly strife,
Each sent to float in its tiny boat
On the wide, wide sea of life.

For each could swim on the ocean's brim,
And, when wearied, its sail could furl,
And sink to sleep in the great sea-deep,
In its palace all of pearl.

And theirs was a bliss more fair than this
Which we taste in our colder clime;
For they were rife in a tropic life —
A brighter and better clime.

They swam 'mid isles whose summer smiles
Were dimmed by no alloy;
Whose groves were palm, whose air was balm,
And life one only joy.

They sailed all day through creek and bay,
And traversed the ocean deep;
And at night they sank on a coral bank,
In its fairy bowers to sleep.

And the monsters vast of ages past
They beheld in their ocean caves;
They saw them ride in their power and pride,
And sink in their deep-sea graves.

And hand in hand, from strand to strand,
They sailed in mirth and glee;
These fairy shells, with their crystal cells,
Twin sisters of the sea.

And they came at last to a sea long past,
But as they reached its shore,
The Almighty's breath spoke out in death,
And the ammonite was no more.

So the nautilus now in its shelly prow,
As over the deep it strays,
Still seems to seek, in bay and creek,
Its companion of other days.

And alike do we, on life's stormy sea,
As we roam from shore to shore,
Thus tempest-tossed, seek the loved, the lost,
And find them on earth no more.

Yet the hope how sweet, again to meet,
As we look to a distant strand,
Where heart meets heart, and no more they part
Who meet in that better land.

[Anon]

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 53625
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley » 03 Nov 2013, 04:55

Did they add to oil reserves?
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Tizer
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 11515
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 19:46
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tizer » 04 Nov 2013, 09:52

No, petroleum is derived from microscopic marine algae and the faecal pellets of microscopic marine animals that sank down to the bottom of the oceans over millions of years and were crushed and heated under the weight of later sediments. The long carbon chains of the fatty acids were gradually changed into the long carbon chains of paraffins, which we know as petroleum or crude oil.

User avatar
Tripps
Senior Member
Posts: 3746
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 14:56

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tripps » 06 Nov 2013, 13:09

Speaking of the deep sea - try this from R. Kipling. Can't say I fully understand the last line, but great use of words.

(The Deep-Sea Cables was originally published in 1896 by Methuen & Co. in The Seven Seas) -

The wrecks dissolve above us; their dust drops down from afar—
Down to the dark, to the utter dark, where the blind white sea-snakes are.
There is no sound, no echo of sound, in the deserts of the deep,
Or the great grey level plains of ooze where the shell-burred cables creep.
Here in the womb of the world— here on the tie-ribs of earth
Words, and the words of men, flicker and flutter and beat—
Warning, sorrow and gain, salutation and mirth—
For a Power troubles the Still that has neither voice nor feet.
They have wakened the timeless Things; they have killed their father Time;
Joining hands in the gloom, a league from the last of the sun.
Hush! Men talk to-day o’er the waste of the ultimate slime,
And a new Word runs between: whispering, ‘Let us be one!’
Born to be mild. . .

hartley353

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by hartley353 » 06 Nov 2013, 18:23

They don't write them like that any more a true wordsmith.

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 53625
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley » 07 Nov 2013, 04:26

David, they were more optimistic in those days and the international telegraph cables were seen as a hope for the future in that if nations could communicate easily they would be more likely to work together for peace. Never happened of course......
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Tizer
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 11515
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 19:46
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tizer » 08 Dec 2013, 10:37

I forgot to mention in my first post above that in Mrs Tiz's family the nautilus is always pronounced as the `naughty lass'!

Here's another fossil poem, about the Iguanadon (pronounced ig-WAN-o-don)...

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
Whatever made you fade,
You've travelled on, Iguanodon,
We wish you could have stayed.

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
We've sought you everywhere,
Both here and yon, Iguanodon,
But failed to find you there.

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
You were a gentle kind,
But now you're gone, Iguanodon,
And left your bones behind.

(by Jack Prelutsky)

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 53625
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley » 09 Dec 2013, 05:33

I suspect the 'Goanna' that my dad harnessed to a toy cart over 100 years ago in Oz was a distant relation....
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 53625
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley » 24 Sep 2019, 03:46

I used the site search to look for poetry the other day and it failed miserably, so thanks to Ian for pointing me at this.... Good stuff!
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

Post Reply

Return to “Poetry”