National Salty Poetry Month

I have been swept away in a glorious tide of sea-themed poetry in honor of National Poetry Month. The Deep Sea lads selected one each, and Jim Lemire one too. Here’s a selection from my favorite sea-themed poem ever. It’s by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, written in the tenth century and recorded in the Exeter Book. This version was translated by Burton Raffel in 1964.

No harps ring in his heart, no rewards,
No passion for women, no worldly pleasures,
Nothing, only the oceans heave;
But longing wraps itself around him.
Orchards blossom, the towns bloom,
Fields grow lovely as the world springs fresh,
And all these admonish that willing mind
Leaping to journeys, always set
In thoughts traveling on a quickening tide.
So summer’s sentinel, the cuckoo, sings
In his murmuring voice, and our hearts mourn
As he urges. Who could understand,
In ignorant ease, what we others suffer
As the path of exile stretch endlessly on?
And yet my heart wanders away,
My soul roams with the sea, the whales’
Home, wandering to the wildest corners
Of the world, returning ravenous with desire,
Flying solitary, screaming, exciting me
To the open ocean, breaking oaths
On the curve of a wave.

Read the whole poem here.

6 Responses to National Salty Poetry Month

  1. […] keeping with the sea theme of National Salty Poetry Month (see Miriam, Kevin, CR and Peter) I bring you the Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Better Far to Live and […]

  2. tri n tran says:

    Harps in the far heaven,
    Calling your only name.
    Violins, in your back yard,
    Luring your worn out body to run outside;
    Music vibrates your trees and your lands.
    Rosaries as fiery as battlefields,
    Bleed woe upon your auburn soil.
    Your galaxy, sinking, deep,
    Nothing, only the salty oceans heave,
    But, look! The lonely air, also, rises.

  3. tri n tran says:

    everything begins inthe sea and have no destination

  4. tri tran says:


    Sea salt, stains my heart,
    A sailor, I sail into joy.
    Indigo blaze upon my eyes,
    My sight,clearing a gradual.
    Sea breeze upon my veins,
    Clearing my tearful woes.
    Crystal waters, I swallow,
    It heals my ailments.


    Autunm, a freezing day,
    England shivered, a wet finch;
    Daylight, a cold fire,
    Crimson illuminated in the sky.

    I imprinted my foot steps,
    And the crispy soil wailed;
    Yellowing leaves, trodden on,
    Their wrinkles, written on their faces.

    Autunm, a freezing day.
    I took a stroll with a school friend;
    Daylight mesmorized my eyes;
    England’s weather, a harmful fiend.

  6. tri tran says:

    wreckless bastards

    O, reckless drivers, O, murderers!
    Careless on freeways, daring on highways,
    How many innocent lives have you killed?
    So you think you can drive the way you want?
    You disobey the laws and you are selfish behind the wheel!
    O, criminals of this planet, O bastards of this galaxy!
    Don t even think about driving if you cannot obey the laws.
    Do us a favor and stay away from your evil machines!

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