Thursday, November 4, 2010

Return to Dover Beach

Return to Dover Beach
by Gideon Burton
again, after Matthew Arnold

This darkling plain where struggling armies clash
and fight. These roaring tides whose sweep and flight
rake light to bruised confusion through the night.
No help, no love, no peace except the rash
array of ignorance that steams the salty, vast
incontinence of worlds this weak, this sleight.
No beauty, youth; no certain truth, just fright
and vacancy where deafened atoms smash.
Ah, love, beguiled by earth's variety,
bewitched by potent potions from the sea,
the washing, waving, purifying ocean --
be true to me. These stark impurities
unbuild the timbers that have steadied me,
and faith itself unweaves in murky motion.

Photo: flickr - Norbert Meffron


  1. I know that Dover Beach isn't a happy poem. I realize that with the statement "The eternal note of sadness in." The tone comes off as being sombre; sad. I wonder why it is. This rendition makes me think about war and battle, or someone who wants help but can't get it. My opinion is bound to change on this. I'm not very good with poems, unless they're hymns for example.

  2. It is like everything you believe in has let you down. So where is your foundation when "these stark impurities unbuild the timbers that have steadied me?" There is an entreaty to the purifying ocean, to be true. I'll have to think more on this poem.