God fashioned the ship of the world carefully.

God fashioned the ship of the world carefully.
With the infinite skill of an All-Master
Made He the hull and the sails,
Held He the rudder
Ready for adjustment.
Erect stood He, scanning His work proudly.
Then — at fateful time — a wrong called,
And God turned, heeding.
Lo, the ship, at this opportunity, slipped slyly,
Making cunning noiseless travel down the ways.
So that, forever rudderless, it went upon the seas
Going ridiculous voyages,
Making quaint progress,
Turning as with serious purpose
Before stupid winds.
And there were many in the sky
Who laughed at this thing.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

10 Comments

  1. nikkij says:

    Those who laughed from the sky I think are the angels, because it is said that God made us to be greater than his angels, and because we fail and falter at many things and go astray they laugh at us and how God could think we are better than them.

  2. Nikkij says:

    Yes I believe the ship represents the world God has created, and the fact that he holds the rudder but CHOOSES not to use it and lets us go our own paths and have free will and make our own choices shows how great he is. He is all powerful but he lets us decide our fates if we are to follow him or let ourselves stay lost at sea.

  3. gingerie says:

    This poem unquestionably metaphorically represent the ship as the world God had created. The main idea the author is trying to imply is that God had created and then lost control of His creation, and now laughs at the chaos of the world. This idea is however completely contradictory to the Scripture regarding His creation…

  4. Anachronism says:

    It’s very ironic that God still has the rudder. It’s as though he has the power to steer the world, but the can’t use it. While it says god is all-powerful, an “All-Master” he is also powerless.

  5. lady mystique says:

    I believe that this poem is a metaphor of me, i am imperfect in this world of perfection. i am rudderless in this world of perfect navigation, as these GPS devices guide hopeless wanderers from invisible places just as people claim God guides us. i am left with no GPS or cellular phone i am distant from this world of communication. Civillization is leaving me in its wake, i have no technology therefore in this modern world i am imperfect.

  6. Mike says:

    I think the ship is a definite metaphore of the world. It is stating that God made it and ignored it. Then he or angels laughed at it for going in a sinful nature. This poem shows hostility towards God.

  7. Jeremiah says:

    Yes, the ship must be (is) a metaphor for the world, but probably more specific; the western part of the world — Europe especially. Not that God would fail to rule the world, but many in the west have abandoned God and is now, according to the “God-less” themselves, sailing without a goal.

  8. Jayce says:

    And here I was, taking the obvious route and viewing the ship as a metaphor for the world. It’s a lot easier than pigeon-holing a meaning into a poet whose style relies heavily on blunt metaphors, but to each their own.

  9. Bluemonkey says:

    The ship must be a metaphor, but what is it to represent? A rebellious teen, perhaps, who has yet to recieve guidance? What is there in life, that which wanders aimlessly? Perhaps this ship is to resemble a greater ideal, who has not yet to be put to use. It simply floats around on peoples minds, and they fail to use it. It has not yet been given direction by the person. But then, who or what would that make God? Is God meant to resemble people’s minds, in this respect? Perhaps God is only then each and every one of us, in our own minds, and yet our thoughts slip through before we give them direction. And if this aimless thought is to be voiced, why, everyone would laugh at it. So what then is this wrong?

  10. Bob says:

    extremely funny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.