Old Man of the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was born at Oak Park, Illinois a suburb of Chicago in the United States of America in 1899. His father was a doctor and mother was an accomplished musician and singer. When he finished his schooling he found aa reporter’s job at the News Paper “The Kansas City Star”. When the first World War broke out in Europe he joined the Ambulance Corp and went to Italian Front.

In the war he was injured and sent home. As he was reporter he observed closely from the soldiers’ point of view. While recuperating he wrote the novel “Farewell to Arms”. That made him very famous. The novel is still very famous all over the world. As this novel was based on the his raw experience later on he wrote many novels that were based on his experiences. His image as the writer of reality and adventurer became iconic for the American and other later writers.

Many of his novels were made into films and he became popular as the great writer of the Hollywood. Most of these films became very popular. To get the part in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” Ingrid Bergman was told by the director and producer to go and see Hemingway for a week or so. Most of his novels have become classic literature and studied in the American Universities.

Most of his life he travelled many parts of the world and wrote novels and nonfiction works. He had a permanent residence in Key West, Florida. In his old age he lived in Cuba and his novel “The Old Man and the Sea”. That won him the Noble Prize for literature. When he travelled all over the world often the death followed him. Inside he was a very lonely man and suffered from the bouts of depressions. His four marriages tell us that he was not happy with himself though he created an image of Balzac type macho man. His last residence was in Ketchum, Idaho where he killed himself with his rifle on July 2, 1961. Some say that it was an accident happened while he was cleaning the gun. Some say his short long story “The Old Man and the Sea” is his autobiography.


Sasha Dee’s poem is written on both the Old Man of the Sea and Erenst Hemingway.

The Old Man of the Sea

By Sasha Dee

Santiago, the old man of the sea

Lies in his squeaking bed on his back

And dreams a dream of

A big fish he has to catch

But the dreams on dreams

Are empty pots that make loud noises

As his rickety bed that moans

When he changes to his side

Or he sits up fidgety and has a bout of coughs

Every morning with his line and hook

Fish knife, box of baits and sharp harpoon

He sails in his dinghy with a fresh dream

Returns at sun set, blank with his nightmare

Days pass and he rambles on the sandy shore

Santiago the aged Cuban craves for a mirage

On the fishing Island of a small village

Forlorn, outcaste becomes a laughing stock

In the evening Manolin, the young boy

His tyro brings him hot coffee and a chat

Tells the wonderful stories of baseball,

DiMaggio the champion to uplift his spirit

Eighty four days and Santiago has not

Scored a single goal with his big delusion

His body slightly bent his sinews and muscles

Hung around his arms he looks older and a goner

On the eighty-fifth day he threw down his hook

Baited, deep down in many fathoms, no sooner

Than a few seconds he feels the tug and knows

With one more pull and his vision has come home

Then there happened a great tug of war

Between the fish called marlin as huge

As his small ship, with a very long snout

Taking his skiff for a ride with high speed

The old man with all his knacks of fisherman

Started looping his line slowly around the mast

The fish not giving up his muscle and might

Splashed the blows from side to side to the boat

The fish dangerously roamed round the dinghy

Like the lightening in a moment seen here and there

Under the rudder, at the end or in the front brow

The old man rushed around, losing his balance

With his harpoon madly missing his moving goal

He made a new harpoon with his fish knife, aimed

And got the devil in his eye the fish dead bleeding

The old warrior tied the monster on the side of the skiff

Started homeward bound with the laughing sun in his eyes

But the bleeding fish left the trail of the scent of blood

And soon the sharks started chasing the boat from all sides

With nothing but his knife harpoon and a piece of wood

Santiago gave a battle for his life and for his prized catch

But the sharks got plenty of bites of marlin

Leaving it just a skeleton dangling when

The old man reached the shore and got a hero’s welcome

But all he wanted was to go to sleep, a long sleep, soft silken  sleep.


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