Robert Frost

(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)

Once by the Pacific


The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,
The cliff in being backed by continent;
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the light was spoken.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: water, ocean, dark, night, light, god, sky

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Comments about this poem (Once by the Pacific by Robert Frost )

  • Rookie Ben Stephenson (2/16/2015 7:57:00 PM)

    Each line of this "sonnet" lovingly flows in rhythm like an ocean wave, swelling, breaking against the shore, then sucking back out to sea. Well penned, Mr. Frost. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,873 Points * Sunprincess * (11/2/2012 11:08:00 PM)

    wow..love the religious aspect of this write..we shall usher in a new age soon in the future..fabulous (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Andrew Hoellering (12/29/2009 9:14:00 PM)

    Frost builds this scene of nature at her wildest image by image.
    He starts with the distant sound of the waters, moving to a superb visual perspective in the second line.
    The unrestrained force of nature, hinted at in the third and fourth lines, is followed by an unusual simile introducing a human element to describe the clouds.
    Backup in the form of cliff and continent is needed to contain such unrestricted rage before Frost changes perspective yet again, introducing a further dimension, that of time.
    This fine poem certainly deserves better than its 7.5% rating. I voted, but found that my vote didn’t register. Can anyone advise how to put this to rights, both here and elsewhere? (Report) Reply

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