Poetry Porch: Poetry


By Richard Fein

           — from “Of Water, as Painted by Turner”

Each wave that successively approaches and breaks
appears to the mind a separate individual wave,
whose part being performed perishes, succeeded by another,
and nothing in this makes us think of restlessness.
But when we perceive that the waves don’t come in succession
but is the same water rising and crashing and recoiling
and rolling in again in fresh forms and with fresh fury,
we perceive a perturbed spirit and feel the intensity of its
            unwearied rage.
The sensation of power is then enlarged, for not only
is the vastness of size increased but the whole action
is different, not a passive wave rolling sleepily forward
until it tumbles heavily, prostrated upon the beach,
but a sweeping exertion of tremendous and living strength,
which now does not appear to fall but to burst upon the shore and
which never perishes but recoils and recovers and surges again
not a separate surge but part of a vast one actuated by internal power

Copyright © 2016 by Richard Fein.