Friday, September 26, 2008


A fortuitous comment on an old post reminded me that I had never posted my photographs of the shipwreck up in Michigan. The shipwreck is off the shore of Birch Island, and here's what the owner of Birch Island has to say about the wreck:
It is known to be a canal schooner, and is nameless. When the original indian family in our area, the Osogwins, arrived in 1850 the schooner was already sunk. No one knows for sure when it happened. It was full of lumber and caught fire as it left Hessel. It went down where it rests now.
Clara has been spending summers on the island her entire life, and never knew about the shipwreck until about ten years ago, when it suddenly became a popular calm morning excursion by canoe to see the wreck. The wreck may be more visible now than in the past because of lower water levels and clearer water due to filtration by zebra mussels. It was difficult to take photographs in a drifting canoe, but this is what I came up with. The photographs don't give a sense of the great size of the wreck, or convey the slight spookiness of drifting over it in a canoe.

Clara steadying the canoe while I take pictures (our island is in the distance)

It's difficult to imagine that the wreck, before it sank more than a century and a half ago, may have looked something like this:

A mid-nineteenth century canal schooner on Lake Champlain
(source: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum)

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New Poem: "Phrasebook"

My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .