Torpedo Fair – an eclogue

Howell torpedo at the Naval War College Museum in Newport, Rhode Island

An eclogue is a poem written as a dialogue between two voices. Torpedo Fair is a poem of this kind which is now published here in The Fortnightly Review.

The first voice is the voice of the battlefield. The second is that of the court.

Certain images in the poem are derived from The Life of Edward, First Lord Herbert of Cherbury – written around 1643.

The title is a quotation from a love poem written in that era, but I can’t remember who wrote it – Herbert of Cherbury, Drummond of Hawthornden, or possibly Fulke Greville. I would be grateful if any reader who manages to find the phrase would add the reference to it in a comment below!

The Howell Automobile Torpedo was the first self-propelled torpedo produced in quantity by the United States Navy, which referred to it as the Howell Mark I torpedo. It was conceived by Lieutenant Commander John A. Howell, United States Navy, in 1870, using a 60 kg (130 lb) flywheel spun at a very high speed (10000 to 12000 rpm) to store energy and drive propellers.

About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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