Monday, October 17, 2005

At the Edge of the Ocean

At the Edge of the Ocean
by Mary Oliver

I have heard this music before,
saith the body.

Staying along the same theme of short, underrated poems - this poem in particular, really stopped me in my tracks. I don't know about the rest of you, but I usally read the poem before I actually read the title to the poem. I don't really know why, I think it's because I figure that the title is going to be somewhere in the poem anyways, but more recently I've come to realize that that isn't so most of the time. I love how short and simplistic this poem is and then formalized with the choice word "saith". Because I was reading it so quickly, I almost didn't know what "saith" meant. When I came to an understanding of the poem, however, I really started to feel what I think Oliver felt too when writing this piece. It reminds me of whenever I hear a familiar song that I haven't heard in ages, but once the tune enters my ears again, I'm taken back to a different time in my life, or perhaps just enjoy the timelessness of the tune that never gets old or unfamiliar. I went to the beach this past saturday morning to read my bible with some girlfriends and it was so amazing how soothingly powerful the crashing of the ocean waves sounds. And I realized when reading this poem, that some tunes aren't musical, but just sounds. Sounds that, as cliche as it is, are heard and recognized by the heart and not with the ear. I really appreciate poetry such as this short piece.

3 Comments:

Blogger Michael Overton said...

I feel the same way when it comes to sounds not songs. Whenever I go camping and just relax in the middle of no where miles from the city I hear all the sounds nature has to offer. Its a beautiful sound that just puts me at ease. When i read the poem I could almost hera the sounds of the ocean again. The sounds you remember that are not just catchy tunes are the ones that are really important.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Lilan said...

I just wanted to say I really liked you sharing a moment in your personal life that you could connect this poem with. I feel like that is what poetry is for, helping us appreciate looking at the world through someone else's lenses, but also, finding new ways to look at our own world.

10:41 PM  
Blogger MValentine said...

I really like this poem. I think tha tpoems often lose their meanings to individuals when they are too complicated and have too many hiden meanings. But this poem is as straightforward as they come, and it is one a lot of people can realate to, the sound of the ocean. I like how Brianne related it to music because that is how I feel to. It takes you someplace else, other memories are tide to sound.

3:37 AM  

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