Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Still, Dover Beach

The ebb and flow of love,
smooth pebbles tossed
against the shore,
leaves unbelievers lost,
rough tumbled in its roar.

Pale specter of the world,
its shadows fall
on darkling plain;
White cliffs will still loom tall
ere crumbling once again.

And melancholy night
in timeless paths
across the sky,
are stilled by lovers' words
though long centuries pass them by.

For rivers of our time
still interweave
with currents past;
Covenants conceived,
collected like sea-glass.

One note hangs in the air:
the channel's cry
at end of day,
voluminous with life
before its sweet decay.

And there still hangs the moon,                                 
on Dover's tide,
its plaintive song;                                               
Eternal notes abide.
Sea of faith still moves as strong.

Old Sophocles could hear
the voice of time
within the spray;
And now the voice is mine,
lest my words be washed away.

The ebb and flow of time,
a love sea- tossed
against the strand,
retreat and then return,
back to the moon-blanched land.



  1. Jem is so very very beautiful!!!! Wow clinging in this with every word and breath. Definitely worth taking a break for! ~April

  2. Lovely response to Arnold. Dover Beach is one of my favourites. This is much more upbeat. He must have had a fairly dour outlook.

  3. I, too, love Dover beach. Yes, Arnold came too think the world that the romantic poets of the past viewed was illusion and felt, as each era does, "these are the worst of times". His solace was his love to whom he speaks to in the poem.
    I guess my point is that there is beauty and he captured that in his words- and it remains a constant. All throughout time, we have been aware of both the joy and sorrow - and love still remains our refuge. :-)

  4. I am new to your blog. Beautiful words. Thanks it reminds me of Sabbath.

  5. I am a fan of Arnold's poem, and must say I really like yours—especially the smooth flow and clarity of the lines. Thanks for joining us today.

  6. Your words thrill me - thank YOU

  7. This poem is, as I knew it would be, beautiful.

  8. Now THAT means so much to me ~ thank you for your faith , Sam - and guidance

  9. Wow. I live nearly on Dover beach and never knew about this lovely poem about it!

  10. Shaun -:-)) I wrote this as a response to Matthew Arnold's "Dover beach". I love Arnold's work.