I was in grad school when my son, Ben, was born. We lived in student housing – an apartment so small that we had to move his little crib into the bathroom each night.
Since his mother had an actual job while I was busy becoming a serious poet (sic), I would often do the middle of the night feeding since I was awake writing serious poetry all night. I had just scored a remaindered copy of Moby Dick at the UNH bookstore and began to read it to him at night while I gave him a bottle.
That was 43 years ago today. Those nights were special. I remember them like it was last night. Quiet except for the little noises a baby makes and me essentially whispering Melville’s words…
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
I’ve read about the white whale every year since that summer of 1977. So today I happily (madly!) cast off again!