Disko said nothing till after supper, when he sent Dan and Manuel out to buoy the "We're Here's" cable and announced his intention of turning in with the broad-axe
. Dan naturally repeated these remarks to a dory from the Carrie, who wanted to know why they were buoying their cable, since they were not on rocky bottom.
As this brief passage already indicates, Becher is chiefly in dialogue with Whitman's "Song of the Broad-Axe
," which seems to have served as a blueprint for "To Europa."
"These ships were all made of material hewed with a broad-axe
, and sawn by hand, as sawmills were unknown in those days." Richard Billingsley, a brother twelve years older than John, had built himself the schooner, Venus, in 1818, of which he was registered as "master." His two younger brothers, John and Benjamin, equally owned another schooner and a brigantine.
lakefront properties, we swiped a broad-axe
from your dad's tool
On the inside cover of an important notebook in which Whitman drafted lines later used for new poems in the second edition of Leaves of Grass, the poet made the following note: "Hewetts pamphlet 'on the uses of iron.'" This obscure reference, written in tiny, barely legible script squeezed between entries in a list of New York street addresses, has not been explored by Whitman scholars, who have naturally been more interested in the many early lines for "Sun-Down Poem" (later "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry") and "Broad-Axe
Poem" (later "Song of the Broad-Axe
") contained in the same notebook.
A hewing axe or broad-axe
such as Coperthwaite's is used to square timbers or flatten the sides of round logs for house and barn construction.
From 1854 to 1856, the Broad-Axe
of Freedom and The Grubbing Hoe of Truth, a weekly newspaper, was published in Richmond, Ind., and among other things, endorsed the first Republican party candidate for president, John C.
Navy's first frigates (like the USS Constitution) were constructed out of live-oaks, the kind of "live-oak kelsons" Whitman sings of in "Song of the Broad-Axe
." Jackson's poem, in its entirety, is printed below: