Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hesperus for the Rest of Us

This ancient image reflects Odysseus' lashing to the mast to avoid the treacherous Sirens. Not famous as a good time either.

Perhaps because I'll be flying out tomorrow for the weekend, I was horrified by the latest inklings I've read about "improvements" in Airbus cabin design wherein we'll all fly standing up.

Via Roger L. Simon, here's Fausta's post, complete with illustrations, pertinent questions about where the headroom's supposed to come from, and Airbus' current response to the allegations. Fausta compares the new seating to the misericord, a heiny rest for choristers performing hours-long services. However, when I think of being bound by canvas webbing to a bolted post for my own comfort and safety, I think of Longfellow's The Wreck of the Hesperus (excerpted):

..."O father! I see a gleaming light
O say, what may it be?"
But the father answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes...

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!

Oh save us indeed.

1 comment:

Fausta said...

The Flight of the Hesperus, for sure!!