I enjoyed the unexpected exuberance of Sail Out for Good, Eidolon Yacht! The “death as a journey” metaphor is put into effect, and you can almost visualize this old sea-captain, the speaker, a wizened snarl on his face as he’s battered by heavy waves and seaspray, taking the helm on this voyage. Not a “concluding voyage”, however, “But outset and sure entranceto the truest, best, maturest”. Death is not an end. It is “Now on for aye our infinite free venture wending,/Spurning all yet tried ports, seas, hawsers, densities, gravitation.” It is more of a frontier, unmapped territory in need of exploration, and this old soul is ready for it. Good stuff.
I was also intrigued by the “Good-Bye My Fancy[!]” pair of poems. This first poem does not include the exclamation point, and occurs at the very beginning of this Annex. It goes:
Good-bye my fancy–(I had a word to say,
But ’tis not quite the time–The best of any man’s word or say,
Is when its proper place arrives–and for its meaning,
I keep mine till the last.)
The speaker here starts the poem but then self-consciously interrupts himself, feeling that he can’t express himself properly at this point of the Annex. So after fleshing more thoughts out, if you will, over the next several pages, he revisits Good-Bye My Fancy! as the last poem. And it is essentially straightforward in its message: “I’m going away, I know not where,/Or to what forturne, or whether I may ever see you again”. But he stops himself again, “let me not be too hasty”. “Then if we die we die together, (yes we’ll remain one)/If we go anywhere we’ll go together to meet what happens”. So death might be a seperation, but purely in a physical form. I think this is a timeless sentiment that Walt captures beautifully and simply.