The Song of the Waterlily

waterlilyBuilding of a boat

by Martin Newell

In a boat, each part is important . . .
“I am The Keel, therefore the king
For me, the adze and whetstone sing . . .
And hewn from woodland oak so tall
Take precedence above you all.”

But the stem, sternpost, deadwoods and floors also jostle for supremacy. They voice their own attributes proudly. Only when she is launched and fighting her first storm do the parts of the Waterlily sing as one:

“We’ll pull together, stem to stern
We are the ship, a ship at last”

This impressively crafted tale follows the making of the fishing smack Waterlily, giving voice to each of her parts, the shipwrights who work on her, and finally the Waterlily herself. Just as the parts of the boat overcome their differences and pull together, The Song of The Waterlily has also exceeded the sum of its parts. An energetic pop poet and a quiet shipwright turned painter have joined forces to create this evocative and informative book.

caulkingadzeing

“… The Song of the Waterlily describes the unity of a ship in a storm; the message is one of significance for us all as we navigate the rough waters of life. Martin Newell has written an evocative poem that is illustrated appropriately by James Dodds, whose images have the happy knack of capturing the essence and atmosphere of seafaring. His work is on show around Britain and we in Greenwich are looking forward especially to his exhibition Shipshape at the National Maritime Museum. ”
Introduction by Roy Clare, Director National Maritime Museum

Pioneer at Sea

Excerpt from the poem:

A wooden boat, un-named, untried
Lies moored and waiting for the tide
With maiden voyage due next day
A light wind ushers night away.
As if to praise the shipwright’s arts
A hubbub rises from her parts
As one by one, each sings its song
To prove the previous singer wrong:

“I am The Keel, therefore the king
For me, the adze and whetstone sing
To shape me, scarve me for my reign
Along the length of my demesne
I am the strength, I am the spine
The spirit of the ship is mine
And hewn from woodland oak so tall
Take precedence above you all.”

52 pages full colour
linocuts and paintings by James Dodds
200mm x 200mm
Hardback £10

Text © Martin Newell 2003
Images © James Dodds 2003
ISBN 0-9539472-4-6
Jardine Press 2003

  [buy]