A Navy ship’s deck log is usually a dry and rote report, filled with the important trivialities of day by day ship life.
However on New 12 months’s Eve, that deck log turns into a artistic outlet for one fortunate sailor on the bridge when the clock chimes midnight.
A longstanding Navy custom holds that the primary entry right into a deck log for the brand new 12 months needs to be written in verse, a poem to mark the second.
Now, the Naval Historical past and Heritage Command is on the lookout for one of the best deck log poems from when midnight hit on Jan. 1 for his or her annual New 12 months’s Day deck log poem contest.
Submissions have to be despatched to email@example.com by Feb. 24, and the highest three deck log poems will probably be introduced in April, in time for Nationwide Poetry Month.
Along with basic accolades, the first-place winner will obtain a bit of “historic copper sheathing” from Previous Ironsides, the USS Structure.
Go here for the complete rundown and contest guidelines.
A deck log is the official report maintained by a Navy ship, and whereas its contents are “typically fiercely regulated,” a longstanding custom has allowed for a midnight New 12 months’s Day poem to be entered, based on the Historical past and Heritage Command.
“The primary entry of the New 12 months, written in verse, offers a short glimpse into the minds of the sailors and shipboard life, and offers a human voice to the in any other case impersonal deck log,” the command notes on its contest web page.
However the custom is waning within the fleet.
“Contests held by Navy Instances within the Nineteen Sixties drew a whole bunch of entries, however the variety of official deck log submissions with particular New 12 months’s Day content material has dwindled annually,” the command web page states. “By reviving the competition, the Naval Historical past and Heritage Command hopes to protect the custom and enhance participation all through the Fleet.”
Deck log poems can solely be submitted by the instructions of commissioned Navy vessels and shouldn’t embrace any categorized info.
They will additionally establish the writer or hold them nameless.
The profitable entry for 2022 was written by Ensign Sarah Weinstein of the guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain. Try her poem under to see how a winner does it:
Initially printed by Military Times, our sister publication.