Pilgrims

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book dimension: 6” x 9”

page count: 470

ISBN: 978-1-957116-0-20

price: $25

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Released July 4, 2022, this epic poem tells the story of the settlement of the Plymouth, New England by the Pilgrims.  The poem consists of 76 chapters and an epilogue composed in heroic quatrains.  

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from the Opening Notes

Pilgrims was developed and composed during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I drafted and polished the book while sheltering alone in my studio apartment in New York City.  I wanted to develop my own poetic portrayal of the events described by the few personal accounts of the settlement of Plymouth Colony in New England. 

For this, I studied the writing of William Bradford and Edward Winslow primarily.  I also gained insight from the letters of John Pory, Emmanuel Altham and Isaack de Rasieres as they are collected in Three Visitors to Early Plymouth.  In the poem there is one phrase quoted from Azel Ames and about two dozen scattered phrases quoted from Bradford and Winslow, such as Winslow’s phonetic rendering of the Algonquin dialect spoken by the Wampanoags. 

The dating and sequencing of the events in the poem were provided by William Bradford and Edward Winslow principally.  Three Visitors to Early Plymouth also provided more information for some specific dates. The log of the Mayflower published by Azel Ames was also helpful for events through April 5, 1621, which was the Mayflower’s departure date from Plymouth Bay in New England.  Some dates were also provided by editors of the primary sources such as William Bradford’s marriage to Alice Carpenter Southworth in Plymouth on August 14, 1623. 

Without question, the famous events at Plymouth Colony did happen.  For example, there was a first Thanksgiving –  although the Pilgrims would not have referred to it as such – which occurred in 1621 and Ousamequin, the Massasoit of the Wampanoags, attended with about 90 Sachems and Pnieses.  This harvest festival at Plymouth transpired over 3 days.  Edward Winslow gave a personal account of the event in Mourt’s Relation.  However, the manner by which the event is portrayed and brought to life is the art of the storyteller.  Pilgrims is a poem, not a scholarly or historical text.  I took liberties in depicting some events where there are few descriptive details in the primary sources.  However, mindful of my poetic license, I took care to preserve the accuracy and spirit of this historic story. 

For the bibliography, I decided to list the secondary sources I have read since composing the poem.  The list is far from exhaustive.  I list these titles in hopes that people will consult the expertise of these scholarly books to explore this fascinating and truly remarkable story. Extremely gifted and erudite scholars have devoted ponderous portions of their careers to these historic events. Their valuable scholarly work must be read, studied and revered.    The story of the Pilgrims at Plymouth is not simply American History, but an important development in the History of Civilization.

Table of Contents

— 1620 —

1.  Elder William Brewster’s Sermon

2.  The Belligerent Sailor

3.  Sea Burial  

4.  The Broken Beam 

5.  Man Overboard

6.  Land Ho!   

7.  The Mayflower Compact  

8.  First Expedition    

9.  Second Expedition

10. Interval                 

11. Keg of Powder     

12. Third Expedition 

 

 — 1621 —

13. Building the Town / Billington’s Sea      

14. The Rendezvous  

15. The Great Sickness                      

16. Military Orders                

17. Samoset    

18. Samoset Returns  

19. Spring       

20. Massasoit Ousamequin

21. Tisquantum Teaches        

22. The Mayflower’s Departure

23. John Carver          

24. Memorial  

25. The Town’s Election       

26. First Pilgrim Marriage at Plymouth                     

27. Envoy to Ousamequin                  

28. Journey to Nauset            

29. The Shadow of Sachem Corbitant                       

30. Envoy to the Massachusetts         

31. The First Thanksgiving                

32. Fortune     

33. Weston’s Letter   

34. The Governor’s House                

 

 — 1622 —

35. The Narragansett Threat  

36. Fortification and Drill      

37. Envoy to the Massachusetts Delayed      

38. Tisquantum’s Accusations                       

39. Tisquantum’s Deception Exposed                       

40. Saving Tisquantum  / Ousamequin’s Demand    

41. The Sparrow’s Shallop                

42. Thomas Weston’s Deception       

43. More Rationing    

44. The Meetinghouse           

45. Charity                 

46. Strength in Weakness      

47. Discovery 

48. Thankless Giving 

49. The Shoals           

50. Tisquantum, the Passing of a Friend       

51. Returning from the Shoals                       

— 1623 —

52. Weston’s Settlement Fractures    

53. Visit to Sowams   

54. Guests of Sachem Corbitant        

55. Hobomock Reveals the Plot against the Pilgrims

56. Captain Standish Rescues Weston’s Men

57. An Unexpected Visitor    

58. Private Enterprise  

59. The Courage to Carry On

60. The Anne’s Arrival                      

61. Reaching an Agreement at the Town Meeting    

62. Wedding Day       

63. Negotiating Wages for the Crew of the Little James

64. A Visit from the Governor General         

65. The Great Fire      

— 1624 —

66. Annual Elections  

67. Winslow’s Return

68. Plymouth Council / Oldham’s Confession          

69. Hopes and Joys    

70. John Lyford         

71. For One and All   

72. The Trial   

73. Constantly Inconstant      

74. Raising the Pinnace                     

— 1625 —

75. John Oldham Returns      

76. Gaining Independence 

— Epilogue —

1626 and 1627           

Appendixes

1. Mayflower Compact                      

2. “The names of those which came over first”

from William Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation 

3. Maps          

Bibliography  

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