section of NOAA History may come as a surprise to those
who believe that hard-headed engineers and scientists are far removed
from the creative realm of daydreaming artists and poets. But it may
be possible that these seemingly disparate groups have more similarities
than commonly believed.
In particular, both groups are primarily concerned with discovering
the underlying "truths" of the world about them. The ancient Greeks
were aware of the complementary nature of poetry and science with their
belief in the nine Muses and their roles in guiding human endeavors
in music, history, poetry, and science. Certainly Thalia whose realm
was playful idyllic poetry and Urania whose niche was astronomy and
the related sciences were the two Muses whose spirits were most akin
to the Coast Surveyors and Weather Bureau employees who embarked upon
poetic and artistic excursions.
As concerns art, the professional experiences of the Coast Survey, Fisheries,
and Weather Bureau officials and employees led them to observe some
of the most dramatic natural features and phenomena occurring on our
planet. It is not surprising that a few of these individuals took brush
and sketch pad to hand and attempted to present the world they observed
by the mediums of paint and pencil.
The poetry and art section of NOAA History highlights the work of some
of these multi-talented individuals. As an added bonus, be on the lookout
for those who, like the oracles of old, could peer into the future such
as George W. Mindling in his 1939 poem "The Raymete and the Future"
and R. S. Clark in his 1934 poem "The Rodman Reverie". It is time now
to lean back and enjoy some of the whimsical and sometimes serious art
and poetry of the weather service, fisheries service, and coast survey.