Posts Tagged ‘Dover Beach’

In the violins, the endless waves

pull pebbles into the ocean

then push them again toward shore.

In the viola, there! brief gleam of moon,

and then the light is gone.

In the cello, oh, slow bowed misery of man.

And here, after tossing in the terrible sea

of sadness and inhumanity,

here in the tender reach of the baritone’s voice

I lean into Matthew Arnold’s call to love.

Sometimes, though we’ve heard the words before,

we hear them new. And for a moment,

sitting in the seventh row, I wade deeper into the tide

and want nothing more than to be true to you.

Just half an hour before, I was pushing you away—

something you said, something you didn’t say.

Oh music, how it heals us, baptizes us

into this very here. What could be more important

now than loving you? I slip my hand into your hand,

touch your shoulder with my shoulder.

The baritone tells of the clashing, the flight.

All is hush.

On my cheek, bright sting of salt water.

for a full copy of Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” visit http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172844

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