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I am an honest shipwright,Author's Notes
And not a hero born,
Yet still I do my duty
So show me not your scorn.
As swordsmith to a soldier,
I ply my deadly craft,
And deck the great windjammers
With weapons fore and aft.
The thunder-whales and smartarms
Strike starboard and then port;
A quick eye on the cannon
Will cut the combat short.
As bowyer to an archer,
I ply my honored trade,
And build for brave warsailors
The best ships ever made.
The ships come back in flinders
From deathfins' mighty blows;
I fix them up in drydock
And on the battle goes.
his poem came from the May 14, 2011 Muse Fusion. It was inspired by a prompt from M.G. Ellington.
While warsailors get the lion's share of admiration in Duurludirj culture, the shipwrights are also vital the cause. Without a strong ship, nobody is going anywhere.
Like a sea chanty, this traditional Duurludirj song has a driving beat that makes it a good accompaniment to any kind of rhythmic labor.
Note that the "cannon" is a spring-wound harpoon cannon, such as used in early days of whaling on Earth. It's not a pirate-fighting cannonball launcher.
This poem was originally printed at Torn World on May 27, 2011 and re-released in podcast format on June 8, 2011 in StarShipSofa No. 192. It was nominated for the 2012 Rhysling Award for speculative poetry (short poem category) on February 3, 2012.