Tony Walton

Rookie (4 March 1950 / London, England)

Seashells From The Seashore - Poem by Tony Walton

Lost, these words, at what a cost: cast
like boats afloat on seas that seize
the moment of their brave conception.
No man can tell what wave will carry,
what rock may tarry their eventful reception,
least of all he who released them on
their free and lovely, dangerous voyage.

Some of them might sink without trace,
some might think. Some might turn their face
against them as they beach. Some might race
to take them up before they slide beyond reach.
Some might deride them. Each
stands a chance, as it takes its chance
on the dancing waters over shifting sands.
Each invites spiteful slights at the hands
of those who only amble there.

Some preamble writes the page,
of which he should beware, but it is just a stage
and scenes may shift. Lift up your heart
on wings of larksong flying, even though your part
is already dying. More sense is there,
than they can know, in trying,
and the sighing will be theirs to bear.
Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

With his radical and ahead-of-his-time positions against religion, monarchy, capitalism, private property and vested interest, and slavery, and his belief in feminism and free love, it is not surprising that Shelley's work was not widely read during his short life. As he wrote to a friend from self-imposed exile in Italy: 'I wonder why I continue to write poems, when so few people read them.' A sentiment that poets everywhere can endorse!

Comments about Seashells From The Seashore by Tony Walton

  • Olivia Catalan (5/3/2017 11:55:00 PM)


    While doing a little search for Percy Byshe Shelley I found this interesting quote The leaf of a tree, the meanest insecto on which we trample, are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates infinity.
    I did not read anything else since this completely caught my eye. I think it is pretty explanatory of the poetical symbolism more or less attached to poets conception and representation of realities.
    Afterwards, I saw a comment of yours inviting to read your poem about Shelley.
    And I just wanted to let you know. Good idea to invite people to read your poem about a poet after the famous quotes. So, taking us all back to poetry, since he was indeed a poet.

    Now, about your poem, I think it has a cold suffering over Shelley's self-esteem and a little resistance claim against critics. Interesting verse, and I found some intertextuality in the varieties you use.
    Each stands a chance, as it takes its chance
    on the dancing waters over shifting sands. This is reminiscent of W.B. Yeats, are you by any chance referring to more than one poet through the use of their verses or rhythm. I also found something similar to Byron's rhyme there in the middle. This is why I ask. Anyhow, good poem.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sagnik Chakraborty (10/7/2014 9:11:00 PM)


    Yes, Shelley wasn't appreciated in his lifetime, but has been an enduring icon of lyric, idealism and revolution ever since. His was the volcanic voice of hope in the depths of despondence, and the 'harmonious madness' of his larksong still permeates the atmosphere. PBS lives! (Report) Reply

  • Sagnik Chakraborty (10/7/2014 9:06:00 PM)


    Magnificent! A well-worded and well-phrased poem. The final stanza provides an excellent conclusion. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (5/15/2014 4:09:00 AM)


    Tony What a fantastic poem (Report) Reply

  • Elna Nel (8/27/2012 11:21:00 AM)


    I like this poem for its truths, and well written. thank you. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »



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?



Poem Submitted: Monday, August 27, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 28, 2012


[Report Error]