I read this poem and knew that I wanted to post it. I loved it’s sadness and it’s small celebration. My father is dead, it says, lost at sea, that too is grief-worthy news, but he is one with the place he loves best and it will celebrate him in the only that it knows how. It’s as if the sea loved him as much as the poet and is giving him the burial of a king, a king of the sea.
I was writing about myth earlier and though this poem contains no myth in it, it feels mythological in itself as if creating it’s own myth. We often do this today with the tall tales we tell (look at the tabloids, if that ain’t myth, I don’t know what is), the books that we write and the books that we love and spin new dreams from.
Perhaps this poem is a way for the poet to come to terms with his grief – at least dad is in a better place, a place that he wants to be. And perhaps the dreams we weave are our ways of reconciling with a rough world that cares little for our delicate and broken dreams.
I think that is important to sit quietly with the works of those we love, hold them close and listen to their beauty. I think too it is important to see what is beautiful in those around us who are not yet gone, see their eyes as pearls, their bones as beautiful corals. And love those beautiful works that are birthed from us no matter what any one else might say, they contain some vital and unique to us, we should celebrate that.
I also wanted to chose this poem, because I felt that it’s idea spoke to something I’ve been feeling lately; things are changing. I mean, it’s ridiculous to say that they never change for change is the only constant, but I feel as if things are tipping for me in my life toward the magical and the beautiful and I wanted to acknowledge that. And I feel sad for the outgoing old, and happy for the incoming new.
Perhaps they’re always leaning that way and I’ve just woken up to realize it. Perhaps they aren’t and I’m just letting the moment sweep away my perception into the belief that somehow the now is forever. Either way, it doesn’t matter. The world is like the ocean (and the ocean is certainly larger that any of our worlds) in that it is always suffering a sea change “something rich and strange” and that has always been true. Listen closely, you can hear the tide going out once again.
Full Fathom Five They Father Lies
by William Shakespeare
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea of change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them – Ding-dong, bell.