Friday, June 23, 2017

"On Reading O'Brian​" by Mary Soon Lee

On Reading O'Brian​
Mary Soon Lee

Without passport or visa,
without luggage or provisions,
I have sailed with the Royal Navy,
fought the French and the Spaniards,
crossed the Atlantic, rounded Cape Horn,
stood on the pitching wooden deck
beside Aubrey and Maturin:
soaked wet, cold, far from home,
in the company of friends.

Poet's Notes: The first draft of this short poem was about reading in general, one of many attempts I've made to describe how important reading is to me. However, in the end I decided to make it specific to Patrick O'Brian's naval series about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Patrick O'Brian is one of my favorite authors. I love the range of his prose, at times humorous, at times harrowing. I love the way he lifts me onto the ship and into the story. Most of all, I love his twenty-book-long portrayal of the friendship between Aubrey and Maturin. I wish there were twenty more books in the series.