White, an erasure poem (Chapter 42 Moby Dick)


What the white was, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid.
Aside from those more obvious considerations,
Which occasionally awaken alarm, there was a thought,
Or a horror concerning him, which at times by its intensity so mystical that I despair.
It was the whiteness that appalled me.
I hope to explain myself, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if
Imparting some special virtue of its own, as in marbles, japonicas, and
Pearls; and though various nations have in some way recognised a certain
Royal preeminence in this hue; unfurling the same snow-white bearing the figure of a
Snow-white charger; though this pre-eminence in it applies to the human race itself,
Giving the white man mastership.
Drawn by milk-white steeds; spotlessness and power;
Incarnate in a snow-white bull; and though to the noble
Iroquois, the midwinter sacrifice of the sacred White Dog was by far the
Holiest festival…

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About m.a. wood

writer, thinker, musician, teacher
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