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Books & Poetry

Poem: Byron Loved the Sea

Books & Poetry

A grand tour of poets is the inspiration for this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Damian Balassone.

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Byron Loved the Sea

Lord Byron. Photo: Mary Evans Picture Library

Wordsworth loved his twilight lakes,
Yeats the wild duck and the drake,
Lawrence glorified the snake,
Churchill loved his V;
Keats composed seraphic odes,
Frost preferred untrodden roads,
Larkin spoke of awful toads,
but Byron loved the sea.

To some, Rimbaud provides the thrill,
or Baudelaire at vaudeville,
or Blake and his Satanic mills,
or Dylan’s haunted trees;
or Teddy Hughes’ creepy crows,
or Sylvia’s cataclysmic woes,
or Robert Burns’s red, red rose,
but I like Byron’s sea.

Tennyson penned dedications,
Pope perfected rhymed quotations,
Shelley praised the cloud’s formation,
Poe loved Annie Lee;
Whitman loved his leaves and moss,
Coleridge the albatross,
Ezra couldn’t give a toss,
but Byron loved the sea.

Have you heard him praise the sea?
the image of eternity,
the life-force in the soothing breeze,
oh how Byron loved the sea!

And how that lame boy loved to dwell
where pounding white-foam breakers swelled,
and the story he most loved to tell
was how he swum the Dardanelles.

Damian Balassone lives in Melbourne. His poems have appeared in numerous publications in Australia and overseas, including Quadrant, Reader’s Digest and The New York Times, and have also been read on ABC Radio. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Prince of the Apple Towns and Daniel Yammacoona, and a third is forthcoming in A Day in the Lie. More about Damian and his work can be found here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


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