Old ironsides poem. The Poem That Saved Old Ironsides 2022-11-07
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Old Ironsides is a poem written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. in 1830, inspired by the USS Constitution, a wooden warship built in 1797 that was still in active service at the time the poem was written. The USS Constitution earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" due to its durability and the fact that cannonballs seemed to bounce off its hull during battles, leading people to believe that it was made of iron rather than wood.
The poem begins with a description of the USS Constitution and its impressive history of victories at sea. Holmes writes, "Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high, / And many an eye has danced to see / That banner in the sky." The speaker of the poem is addressing those who would dare to destroy or decommission the old warship, urging them to reconsider and recognize the importance of the USS Constitution to the nation.
The speaker goes on to describe the battles that the USS Constitution has survived, noting that "her keel was laid down / When belles were in their teens." Despite the passage of time and the wear and tear of battle, the USS Constitution remains strong and undaunted. The speaker declares, "Though battered by the gales of all / The roaring Southern seas, / In every battle honor'd still, / Old Ironsides! thy name shall be."
In the final stanza, the speaker asks the readers to "write her a poem" and to "sing her a song," as a way of paying tribute to the USS Constitution and its enduring legacy. The speaker concludes with a call to action, urging the readers to "pledge with me our country's sword," and to "shield her from the fight."
Old Ironsides is a powerful and poignant tribute to the USS Constitution, a symbol of America's strength and resilience. It celebrates the enduring spirit of the ship and the bravery of those who have served on it, and it serves as a reminder of the important role that the military plays in protecting and defending the nation. Overall, the poem is a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit and the strength of the American people.
Old Ironsides: a History of America’s Ship of State
A Boston shipwright was sent South to select live oak, red cedar, and hard pine. She then returned to Norfolk via the Cape of Good Hope, having circled the world. Annie Fields, whose husband worked with Holmes in the early days of the Atlantic Monthly literary magazine, reported that no topic interested Mr. Did Holmes Ever See the Ship? Captain Hull was not the man to be shut up in Boston harbor if he could help it. Holmes' assertion in the third stanza that the ship is deserving of a better fate than retirement also plays into the theme of pride. Advertiser the next day and was soon reprinted by papers in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.
Holmes who was, himself, nearly as old as Ironsides. Of course he could not fight his powerful foe with his single ship. Check here for reviews on our IDs and ask questions about your orders! Two hours later, a squall gave Hull a chance to play a trick on his pursuers. What is the Theme of ''Old Ironsides? Although he published many volumes of prose and poetry, he was also a noted Boston doctor, an early advocate of the microscope, and a formal robe-wearing Professor of Anatomy at Harvard, the most formal of American schools during its most formal times. Analyzing 'Old Ironsides' The subject of this poem, the U. But as always, the power of the popular poem formed a shield around the ship.
It certainly saved the USS Constitutioni, but that salvation took 100 years. And so she lives because of noble birth. Once writing gets in your blood, he told those who came to hear him speak, you will never be the same. The Chesapeake-Leopard incident in 1807 delayed her relief, and Campbell narrowly averted a mutiny by his homesick crew. Holmes was born in 1809, only twelve years after the ship that made him famous was launched. The real name of the ship is "Constitution", and it was a 44-gun frigate.
Popular indignation rose to a white heat, and swept everything before it. Likewise, with the structure of its national pride and identity dismantled, a nation can't continue to function - much less revisit the deeds of its glory days. Rather than protest, he used reverse psychology. With the ship on its way to the scrap yard, though, that once proud banner 'shall sweep the clouds no more! He notes that her reverberating cannon fire has made her known in the sea's depths, and so that should be her rightful resting place. Not for one moment did he think of giving up his vessel. The tone of the poem is romantic and the theme is the '' ship as state,'' meaning the ship is representative of the nation.
Once again, publicity had to rescue her. If the final stanza of 'Old Ironsides' is any indication, he would much rather see this ship at the bottom of the ocean than taken apart in a shipyard; just as he'd rather see the nation destroyed than left in the hands of those who would neglect and defame her. No one will miss it. The Constitution was built of the best material, and with unusual care. USS Constitution sailing in honor of the bicentennial of her launching in 1997.
Her launching occurred on September 20, 1797, but she stalled partway down the ways. The brilliant defeat of the Guerrière in 1812 had come at a time when national morale was at a low ebb, and the win was followed by another victory, the destruction of HMS Java. On one occasion, six of our gunboats made a savage hand to hand attack on twenty-one Tripolitan gunboats, and drove them back into the harbor with great loss. Before this, he had done some feats of seamanship, but thus far in his career he had not been fortunate. What they hadn't planned for, though, was the growing public attachment to the vessel as a symbol of American freedom and endurance. The narrator notes its long service, during which it witnessed much mayhem and stood as a symbol of reassurance to those looking for it in the fray.
Lines five and six set the scene of the ship in battle, the shouting and the cannons firing. Within forty days, five attacks were made on the forts and the war ships of Tripoli. It was picked up, over the week, by major papers all across the still small country. Written by Albert F. Commodore Preble was made commander, with the Constitution as his flagship.
In lines 21 through 24, Holmes offers another alternative to retirement. As a result, the poem—perhaps unexpectedly—ultimately seems to comment on the inevitability of death and the need to let nature run its course. Synopsis of 'Old Ironsides' by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sometimes, we might get annoyed with people and find that we respond to their words or actions with sarcasm. Holmes closes the poem in the third stanza by decrying the fate of the ship. She is a national treasure, offering a tangible link to the very first years of the Navy and the United States as a whole. Even in the midst of hostile weather and forces, the ship never faltered and is characterized as a home to heroes and a fierce 'eagle' that is being terrorized by 'harpies.
We are passionate about the world we inhabit; Aware there are two sides to every story. Holmes more than Mr. In 1830 she appeared to be at the end of her service life, but a national campaign persuaded the Navy to modernize her for continued service. The ship is still well maintained to this day and is sometimes sailed during special occasions. Lines 15 and 16 read ''The harpies of the shore shall pluck the eagle of the sea! Her big guns flash, but the balls fall short. The issue is cast as a struggle between the villainy of the landbound harpies of the shore and the heroism that is represented by the eagle of the sea.