Poem: "Prophet" by Carl Dennis, on what real prophecy is like, and what happens when real prophets take off for Tarshish:
"The sea storm that harried Jonah won't harry you.
Aldous Huxley, "Jonah" (Christmas 1917). Book of poetry, scanned in full. The eponymous poem (page 2) I give in full below. Quite a few sermons give the second stanza; it's not hard to see why they avoid the first!
Our Joy in a Created Good by John and (?) Charles Wesley, 1868. Short poem inspired by Jonah's feelings for the gourd.
"Our joy in a created good / How soon it fades away, ... / Joy by its violent excess / To certain ruin tends / And all our rapturous happiness / In hasty sorrow ends."I can't help feeling this is a strange reading, a shoe-horning of biblical sentiment into a conventional topos, the impermanence of joy. All that's missing are some concluding lines about how, since life is nothing but passing joy, the comely maiden should get over herself and hop into bed with the poet.
Poem (title?) by Edward Taylor (1642-1729).
Jonah 4 by Thomas Washbourne (1654). Ungainly verse.
Samuel Wesley (1715), concludes on Jonah and Heracles:
"Three dismal Days and Nights his living Tomb.
Melville, Moby Dick (chapter 83), "Jonah Historically Regarded." Ah, discursive, witty Melville:
"For truly, the Right Whale's mouth would accommodate a couple of whist-tables, and comfortably seat all the players.Possibly, too, Jonah might have ensconced himself in a hollow tooth; but, on second thoughts, the Right Whale is toothless. "
"For the fact is that being inside a whale is a very comfortable, cosy, homelike thought. The historical Jonah, if he can be so called, was glad enough to escape, but in imagination, in day-dream, countless people have envied him. It is, of course, quite obvious why. The whale's belly is simply a womb big enough for an adult. There you are, in the dark, cushioned space that exactly fits you, with yards of blubber between yourself and reality, able to keep up an attitude of the completest indifference, no matter what happens."