Silent Service: De Profundis

That’s Latin (I think) for “from the depth. Also a reference to Oscar Wilde.

Hi! It’s Tautog here again. A few months ago, one of our readers wrote in and got curious as to how we do our research. Specifically, he was curious as to from where and how we get a lot of our materials.

The answer? A lot of effort, but the same as everyone else. In some cases, scrap-books from garage sales. In other cases, clippings of materials scanned or emailed in from our readers or friends. In other cases, friends and team-members going out explicitly to look for interesting material.

Here’s one, for instance. The title of today’s update is from a former submariner, Lloyd Hall. The original source came from a clipping that Morgane had carefully preserved in physical form. Judging from the age of the paper it’s probably a few decades years ago.

The title of the poem is as this piece’s title, De Profundis.

Oh black-hulled monster of the chartless deep,
In solitary splendor, roam the seas;
Your undetected isolation keep,
Much as a starship spanning galaxies.

Grim missile-bearing wanderer all alone
Beneath the polar cap or southern sea;
On course as steady as a star might own;
As silent as leviathan might be.

My thanks for a taste of what your life has been,
A wondrous calm beneath the raging gale;
Trusting to sonar’s “sight,” that which unseen
Might be a rocky shoal – or love-sick whale.

If I were young again and had to choose
‘Tween reefs and currents – and a sky of thunder;
I think I’d take the plunge – and try to lose
Myself in depths full sixty fathoms under.

Then here’s to the day your planes shall cleave the foam,
Your klaxons barking, “dive,” the final sound;
The boundless oceans once again your home.
And silence all pervading – closes ’round.

Neat, huh? See, there’s a lot of cool stuff out there. You just have to dig a little for it!