Treasure Island

Michael Gessner

(Michigan)

Description of Sea Life


What was it, this crippled half-thing
Sidling through thickness, an occasion
For being breathly frail, a glimpse

Of an ancient image in an ancient sea,
One more servant in the urge of the world
To move toward something else as though its life
Was spent trying to break the surface

Where it could never survive alone
And still ascend, I see you ascend
A bridal dress, a headless subject
As though called by another buoy's bell

You would fold in my fist like a white heart,
Filmy pump gathering old sea water,
You gather and disperse, gather to disperse
Propelling yourself, an invalid organ

In the vital motion of the universe
Of nettles, night nettles hundreds rising
Through blue plasma, one turns, a medusan head
With cellular hair all in coils,

Head or heart you were never the comparison
But the unknown expression about to speak
Through the shape of watery human lips.



From The Wisconsin Review

Submitted: Saturday, April 08, 2006
Edited: Saturday, April 08, 2006

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Description of Sea Life by Michael Gessner )

Enter the verification code :

  • Clum Haire (9/20/2008 11:52:00 AM)

    I love this poem. The images it created in my mind were stunning. You should proud of that alone - let alone the metaphors and meanings interwoven into your work about life itself. Wow. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Howard (12/6/2006 8:54:00 AM)

    The image I conjured in reading this poem was life turned inside out with internal organs outside our skin. The sensation is of ultimate fragility and vulnerability.

    Robert (Report) Reply

  • Mike Finley (4/10/2006 9:07:00 PM)

    I get the marine life idea, but I'm not sure I see it as vividly as I should. But it is still vry affecting.

    What IS this shabby waterlogged bottom-feeding bivalvular thing - is it us? Is it every hapless creature in the world?

    It's like 'Waiting for Godot' acted out by an all-mollusk cast. (Report) Reply

  • kskdnj sajn (4/8/2006 10:44:00 AM)

    More then a description of sea life, as a reader I felt the disconnection, as much as the linking, and although beautiful, a sad poem. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. थाखोमा थाखोमा, Ronjoy Brahma
  2. From A Husband To A Wife, Toshie Nohara
  3. Fountain Of Youth, david kush
  4. Hope of boat, gajanan mishra
  5. Saturated Yet Split And Kept Divided, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  6. My Secret Love, Jesus James Llorico
  7. Dad and Brother, fallenangel ..c
  8. XVI, Mark Strand
  9. Mirror, Mark Strand
  10. ONLY IN SUMMERTIME... PEOPLE ENJOY EVERY.., MOHAMMAD SKATI

Poem of the Day

poet Helen Hunt Jackson

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]