Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
They say that the Italian sonnet should rise and break like an ocean wave, so I suppose it makes an appropriate form for this poem. The waves and the shell in question were on the beach of St. Simons Island on the Georgia coast. The time was 1984, but could have been today or any day. The poem appeared in Eternity Magazine, Feb. 1986, p. 24.
Time at the Seaside
The beach curves away forever, winding
Its arms around the rear horizon, vast
In reach as is the ocean flowing past.
The waves curve and break, forever finding
The sand, and in their surging ever grinding
To smoothness shell and hull and sunken mast
Until they wear to nothingness at last,
While still the waves roll on—the law is binding.
And I have seen the shell upon the shore
Too often swept away by waves and slammed
Back sandward past all smoothing, ‘til it crumbles
To dust and dullness, is a shell no more.
It’s more than just the vastness here that humbles:
It’s this bright hardness to the same fate damned.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
Donald T. Williams, PhD