Line 59: “Turreted Sprites”- A turret has the shape of a long spiral. Sprites were known as a small or elusive supernatural being (OED).
Line 64: “Opium and Tea”- Opium is produced from the dried latex taken from the poppy plant. Both were high-valued commodities traded by ship during the 18th and 19th centuries. Poppy seed capsules can also be boiled in water to produce a bitter tea that induces a long lasting intoxication, also known as poppy tea.
Line 67: “Sky Sails”- In square-rigged vessels, a sky sail is a light sail set above the royal (OED).
Line 68: “Melbourne”- Captial of Victoria, the most populous state in Australia. The port of Melbourne supports Australia’s largest ship transport system.
Line 69: “Parabolas”- A symmetrical open plane curve formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane parallel to its side. The shape of a parabola is similar to the appearance of a bridge (OED).
Line 69: “Clipper dreams “- Fantasizing on the subject of clipper ships.
Line 71: “Baronial white on lucky blue”- Could be a flags colors from a certain clipper ship.
Line 72: “Cutty-trophied-Sark”- An obvious reference to the title of the poem, Cutty Sark is a Scots Whiskey that was created on March 20th, 1923 when the partners of wine & spirit merchants Berry Bros. discussed the launch of a new whiskey. The name also originates from the River Clyde-built clipper ship of the late 19th century. It’s one of the only preserved clipper ships still on display.
Line 73: “Thermopyle, Black Prince, Flying Cloud“- All four of these are prominent clipper ships dating back to the late 19th century.
Line 73: “Sunda“- The Sunda Islands are a group of islands located in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Line 76: “Java Head” – One of the world’s most populous islands located in Indonesia.
Line 79: “Buntlines Tusseling”- A buntline is a rope that keeps a square sail from bellying when it is being hauled up for furling (OED).
Line 80: “Rainbow, Leander, Numbus, Taeping, Ariel“- Numerous other clipper ships mentioned at the end of the poem. The name “Rainbow” in particular represents an oval shape similar to that of a bridge.