Father of the Silent World

In Memory of 
Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau
June 11, 1910 - June 25, 1997

By Hillol Ray

At the turn of 20th century, Mother Nature was crying -
To protect her "children" while the tears were drying !
'Cause dumping in oceans and chemicals in air began to kill,
The bounties of nature and the silent seas that sent the chill !

Mother was desperate and praying for solution -
To stop such torture from all types of pollution !
All of a sudden, the kind Lord filled her prayer through a very close friend -
By sending Jacques-Yves Cousteau, as a Savior on earth, to set new trend !

Born in Paris, with a true love for the Mother Nature and the sea -
Jacques was the "Man" who opened our minds with special key !
Through the years and throughout the world, he had to swim -
To preach: cruelty to nature is nothing but a man-made whim !

Today our beloved Jacques is in the heaven but the legacy lives on -
And reminds his passions for nature and sea, from dusk until dawn !

Hello, Jacques, please accept our deepest love and respect,
Your absence today is so unbelievable and really heartfelt !
The marine explorers will always keep 'Special Spot' for you,
'Cause your creations are immortal and draw the global view !

You achieved your spot through long debates and enormous tolls -
And they are still so vivid, around the world, in everyone's souls !
Via untiring effort, you taught us to protect Mother Nature and the sea,
While opening the doors to our environments with your "magic" key !

We know, you have brought the "world under the sea" for millions to view -
From the rocky deserts to the ageless grass, covered with the morning dew !
Your zest for silent seas won global debates on behalf of the seas and nature
So the dolphins, oysters and coral reefs are alive today, to display caricature !

Since the early 50's, your research vessel 'Calypso' stirred up the hearts of all,
And sea lovers throughout the world remember you always without your call !
Your "Shows" of the undersea worlds were didactic and entertaining as well -
To the viewers of all televisions, about creatures in the sea where they dwell !

Aqua-lung, the brainchild of yours is still playing happily around all nations -
Better known as "Scuba", it is widely used globally, in marine explorations !
You struggled to protect marine lives and prevent pollution in the air -
To make the world a better place for all generation and safe to share !

From us, today, Jacques, you are wondering freely very far away -
But offering us lesson while keeping your sea-loving mind at bay !
Your strength and the struggle for nature are felt everywhere -
Around the globe, in oceans, in soil, and in open atmosphere !

Jacques, be assured that "The Silent World" will be here at all the time,
To direct us in missions under the sea and even when the winds chime !
Today, we float our broken mind immersed in dew moistened tear -
And display our deep affections for you, Jacques, without any fear !

We will continue on your untiring efforts with blindfolded eye,
Without any set back or hesitation, and uncompromised vie !
Remember, our hearts do cry alone in the daylight and darkness,
But vividly remember your tender love with the natural harness !

The Cousteau Society has neatly placed your immortal name on the concrete stone,
And the world is really blessed with each and every touch of your intriguing bone !
So before conclusion we love to say this,
Although we know it's very true as it is -

You traveled all the oceans around the world for over forty years -
And removed the agonies of all sea creatures by wiping their tears !
Your talents and innovations stunningly span around the earth,
Although the Bordeaux in France was the place of your birth !

Jacques, you were the "Citizen of the World", and not only a French,
So your absence will be surely missed and cause our eyes to drench !
But forever, you will shine like a viable Father of The Silent World under the sea,
While our lonely hearts will lit up to say, "Au revoir, Jacques. We love thee" !!!



June 25, 1997


Background behind the writing of this poem:

Undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau died in Paris on June 25, 1997 at age 87. The world lost a true and courageous ambassador of the oceans. Captain Cousteau authored or co-authored more than 80 books, produced and starred in nearly 100 films, and hosted a documentary television series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, that has been shown in more than 100 countries.

Three of his films received Academy Awards for best documentary, and one, The Silent World, also won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910, in the market town of St.-Andre-de-Cubzac near Bordeaux, France. His parents were Daniel and Elizabeth Cousteau. Over 40 years, Captain Cousteau traveled the oceans of the world aboard his research vessel Calypso. He was the co.-inventor and principal developer of the Aqua-Lung, better known as "scuba", for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. In 1936, Mr. Cousteau met Simone Melchior, a student, and married her in summer of 1937. His two sons, Jean-Michael and Philippe were born in 1938 and 1940 respectively. In 1953, the publication of The Silent World made him an instant celebrity. His interests in protecting the ocean environment continued to grow over the years. In 1974, he founded the Cousteau Society, Inc., dedicated to marine conservation. Unfortunately, towards the later part of his life, he had to face personal losses. His younger son, Philippe, whom he appointed as his successor, was killed in a seaplane crash in 1979, and older son, Jean-Michael, resigned from the Cousteau Society in 1992, due to the feuds with him over issues of management and policy. His wife, Simone, died in 1990. To recover from loneliness, Mr. Cousteau was remarried in 1991. His second wife, Francine Triplet, current President of the Cousteau Society, has two children, Diane and Pierre-Yves.

Upon his death, French President Jacques Chirac said Captain Cousteau was a great Frenchman who also was a citizen of the world. In a nutshell, Frenchman Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Author-explorer-inventor-filmmaker -oceanographer, has left a profound legacy for the generations to come. He will be surely missed.


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