A narrative poem about the sailing travails of the US schooner Flying-Fish on the US Exploring Expedition (1838-42). An appendix describes the circumstances that the poem portrays. Basically this is doggerel poetry describing two vessels of the Wilkes Exploring Expedition, the Peacock, and the Flying-Fish. An appendix describes the adventures of the latter ship:
p. 66, March 2, 1839, storm: It was almost impossible to stand on deck, without danger of being carried overboard; and below, everything was afloat. Books and clothes, and cabin furniture, chased each other from side to side….
An interesting collection of poems, inspired by Palmer’s adventures in the Antarctic as a member of the United States Exploring Expedition. Palmer was attached to the Wilkes expedition as acting surgeon and unofficial assistant naturalist, and spent much of his time aboard the schooners, Flying Fish and Peacock. "This charming work, derived from the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838-42, contains the earliest published Antarctic poetry, a literature form that did not appear again in a freestanding publication until the SOUTH POLAR TIMES in 1907. The Flying Fish achieved the highest latitude of any ship during the expedition, 70°4′ S at 100°16′ E, during the first season. The poem ‘Thulia’ (pp.13-38) concerns that first Antarctic season; the poem ‘The Bridal Rose’ (pp.53-8) concerns the second Antarctic season aboard the Peacock. The wood cut vignettes were exquisitely executed by one of the expedition’s artists, A.T. Agate" – Rosove. The woodcuts illustrate their adventures locked in ice, among other things. An often overlooked Wilkes expedition item, and an important relation of the United States’ earliest foray into the Antarctic region. ROSOVE ANTARCTIC 246. HASKELL 186. SPENCE 890. RENARD 1188. CONRAD, p.53. DAB XIV, p.185.