“MASTS AT DAWN
Red died the sun, but at dark wind rose easterly, white sea
nagged the black harbor headland.
When there is a strong swell, you may, if you surrender to it,
A sense, in the act, of mystic unity with that rhythm. Your
peace is the sea’s will.
But now no motion, the bay-face is glossy in darkness, like
An old window pane flat on black ground by the wall,
near the ash heap. It neither
Receives nor gives light. Now is the hour when the sea
Sinks into meditation. It doubts its own mission. The drowned
That on the evening swell had kept nudging the piles of the
pier and had seemed
To want to climb out and lick itself dry, now floats free. On
that surface a slight convexity only, it is like
An eyelid in darkness closed. You must learn to accept the
kiss of fate, for
The masts go white slow, as light, like dew, from darkness
Condensed on them, on oiled wood, on metal. Dew whitens
I lie in my bed and think how, in darkness, the masts go
The sound of the engine of the first fishing dory dies seaward.
In the inward glen wakes the dawn-dove. We must try
To love so well the world that we may believe, in the end, in
………. ROBERT PENN WARREN, (1905-1989) from the book
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry.
I could have paused, any where along the way, and found
meaning as well as pleasure in the words and even the way
the poet wanted to structure the lines. Today, the whole of
it just flowed out and stayed with me.
always with love,