The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday and Nautical Baltimore

The Sea Hold
By Carl Sandburg

The sea is large.
The sea hold on a leg of land in the Chesapeake hugs an early sunset and a last morning star
over the oyster beds and the late clam boats of lonely men.
Five white houses on a half-mile strip of land... five white dice rolled from a tube.

Not so long ago... the sea was large...
And to-day the sea has lost nothing... it keeps all.

I am a loon about the sea.
I make so many sea songs, I cry so many sea cries, I forget so many sea songs and sea cries.

I am a loon about the sea.
So are five men I had a fish fry with once in a tar-paper shack trembling in a sand storm.

The sea knows more about them than they know themselves.
They know only how the sea hugs and will not let go.

The sea is large.
The sea must know more than any of us.


We had storms forecast for Saturday but no one was sure exactly when they would start, only that they would definitely come in waves. Adam had plans to play tennis with my father, then to study for most of the afternoon with his girlfriend, so the rest of us went without him to Baltimore -- Daniel drove -- where a replica of the Marquis de Lafayette's ship L'Hermione was visiting along with many reenactors and French craft demonstrations.

There was a massive crowd waiting to board the ship and it was very hot, so rather than spend all afternoon in line, we went to the aquarium, which was much less crowded that we thought it might be so we had a very successful visit; not only did we see the sloth awake and moving around, but the moral eel came out for us, there was a baby loggerhead sea turtle being rehabilitated, and I got to touch a skate in the new Living Seashore exhibit.

Outside, we saw ducklings and several ships besides L'Hermione -- Pride of Baltimore was sailing, as were the Urban Pirates, who tried to fire water cannons at someone dressed as The Cat in the Hat. We came home for dinner with Adam, watched the nail-biting season finale of Orphan Black and the delightful naval-themed second episode of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Happy Father's Day and Litha if you celebrate, good solstice if you don't!


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