Robert Lowell

(1917 - 1977 / Boston / United States)

Water - Poem by Robert Lowell

It was a Maine lobster town—
each morning boatloads of hands
pushed off for granite
quarries on the islands,

and left dozens of bleak
white frame houses stuck
like oyster shells
on a hill of rock,

and below us, the sea lapped
the raw little match-stick
mazes of a weir,
where the fish for bait were trapped.

Remember? We sat on a slab of rock.
From this distance in time
it seems the color
of iris, rotting and turning purpler,

but it was only
the usual gray rock
turning the usual green
when drenched by the sea.

The sea drenched the rock
at our feet all day,
and kept tearing away
flake after flake.

One night you dreamed
you were a mermaid clinging to a wharf-pile,
and trying to pull
off the barnacles with your hands.

We wished our two souls
might return like gulls
to the rock. In the end,
the water was too cold for us.

Topic(s) of this poem: water


Comments about Water by Robert Lowell

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (11/24/2014 2:55:00 AM)


    Beautifully expressed-We wished our two souls might return like gulls to the rock. In the end, the water was too cold for us thank you so much (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (11/24/2014 2:55:00 AM)


    Beautifully expressed-We wished our two souls might return like gulls to the rock. In the end, the water was too cold for us thank you so much (Report) Reply

Read all 2 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


Poem Submitted: Monday, November 24, 2014

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 4, 2014


[Report Error]