John Gould Fletcher

(3 January 1886 – 10 May 1950 / Little Rock, Arkansas)

The Calm - Poem by John Gould Fletcher


In the morning I saw three great ships
Almost motionless
Becalmed on an infinite horizon.

The clatter of waves up the beach,
The grating rush of wet pebbles,
The loud monotonous song of the surf,
All these have soothed me
And have given
My soul to rest.

At noon I shall see waves flashing,
White power of spray.
The steamers, stately,
Kick up white puffs of spray behind them.
The boiling wake
Merges in the blue-black mirror of the sea.

One eye of the sun sees all:
The world, the wave, my heart.
I am content.

In the afternoon I shall dream a dream
Of islands beyond the horizon.

White clouds drift over the sky,
Frigates on a long voyage.

In the evening a mute blue stillness
Clutches at my heart.
Stars sparkle upon the tips of my fingers.

Mystical hush,
Fire in the darkness;
The breaking of dreams.

But in the morning I shall see three great ships
Almost motionless
Becalmed on an infinite horizon.

Comments about The Calm by John Gould Fletcher

  • Rajendran Muthiah (7/22/2015 3:29:00 AM)

    The sea is calm in the morning, flashes waves in the afternoon, and a mute blue clutches at his heart. There is a mystical hush in the night. Again the poet goes back to the morning. The structure, simplicity of diction and the calm atmosphere in which the environs of the sea is probed are wonderful. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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