In honor of World Oceans Day
, write your own ocean poem, inspired by one of the following approaches, or by these brilliant poems from our very own Sarina Adeline
OBSERVATION: Oystercatchers in Flight
Notice how Eamon Grennan uses unfamiliar terms such as “windlight” and “sea-breath” to invite the reader into the world of the orange-beaked oystercatchers. In your “observation poem”, see if you can use language that will feel fresh and unexpected to your reader’s ear.
METAPHOR: Drifting Flowers of the Sea
Oceans, in their beauty and vastness, are excellent sources of metaphor. In this poem, Sadakichi Hartmann uses white flowers floating across the ocean to say something about redemption and light. How can you use an element of the ocean in a symbolic or metaphorical way?
ANTHROPOMORPHISM: The Surfer
Notice how Judith Wright gives human characteristics to elements of the sea. As you write your own poem about the ocean, experiment with human attributes.
PAIRING: The Nameless Ocean
Sometimes a poem broken into two pieces produces a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Divide your poem into sections, as Donald Jenkins does in “The Nameless Ocean”—the separate descriptions speaking to one another through the common topic of the ocean.
SONNET: Skin Diver
Thomas W. Shapcott makes use of a classic form that has inspired poets for centuries. The traditional sonnet has 14 lines, each 10 syllables long. Its rhymes are arranged as either:
ab ab, cdcd, efef, gg - English
abba abba cdecde - Italian