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The City In The Sea - Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters he.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass-
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea-
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.


Comments about The City In The Sea by Edgar Allan Poe

  • Gold Star - 87,352 Points Savita Tyagi (4/15/2020 11:35:00 AM)

    Reminds me of the sunken city of Dwarka. What Edgar Allen Poe imagined in this mystical and marvelous poem have happened thousands of years before. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 181,410 Points Mahtab Bangalee (4/15/2020 10:11:00 AM)

    There open fanes and gaping graves
    Yawn level with the luminous waves;
    But not the riches there that lie.....great poem; philosophically do deep
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 9,387 Points Harindhar Reddy (4/15/2020 3:04:00 AM)

    To touch the topic deadly death is dreadful but Edgar Allan Poe not only touched it but produced this miraculous poem. That's why he is considered as one of the all time best poet. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 53,902 Points Dominic Windram (4/15/2020 1:22:00 AM)

    Epic Gothic poem.. born from the dark imagination of Edgar Allan Poe. I particularly like the personification of Death looking, ' gigantically down' from, ' a proud tower in the town'..terrifying! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 8,695 Points Bernard Snyder (11/5/2019 7:24:00 PM)

    My favorite poet of all times. Wonderfully written! (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 6,796 Points Tamara Beryl Latham (11/5/2019 10:11:00 AM)

    What an amazingly brilliant poet, especially of dark poetry. Great read and thanks for posting. : -) (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 53,902 Points Dominic Windram (11/5/2019 2:17:00 AM)

    I love the personification of Death in this poem! It is brilliantly realised by the master of Gothic horror: Edgar Allan Poe. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 437,495 Points Kumarmani Mahakul (11/5/2019 1:32:00 AM)

    A well inscription has been made on " The City in the sea" . It is a brilliant poem by Edgar Allan Poe. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie Kymarie (4/15/2019 5:21:00 PM)

    Like, your, story..
    Love you! ! ¡! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 0 Points Mmidi Moraba Phillip (4/15/2019 11:58:00 AM)

    I really enjoyed the poem (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 45 comments »
Sea Poems
  1. 1. The City In The Sea
    Edgar Allan Poe
  2. 2. Sonnet Xxxiv (You Are The Daughter Of Th..
    Pablo Neruda
  3. 3. Sea Calm
    Langston Hughes
  4. 4. The Sea Is History
    Derek Walcott
  5. 5. A Sea Dirge
    Lewis Carroll
  6. 6. On The Sea
    John Keats
  7. 7. A Sea-Side Walk
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  8. 8. At The Sea-Side
    Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. 9. With Ships The Sea Was Sprinkled Far And..
    William Wordsworth
  10. 10. After The Sea-Ship
    Walt Whitman
  11. 11. Sea Rose
    Hilda Doolittle
  12. 12. Sea Lullaby
    Elinor Morton Wylie
  13. 13. Young Sea
    Carl Sandburg
  14. 14. Alone On Sea
    Allenika ...
  15. 15. By The Sea
    Emily Dickinson
  16. 16. At Sea
    Aleister Crowley
  17. 17. By The Sea
    Christina Georgina Rossetti
  18. 18. The Sea
    Lewis Carroll
  19. 19. As If The Sea Should Part
    Emily Dickinson
  20. 20. Beyond The Sea
    Thomas Love Peacock
  21. 21. Oh Sea
    Ernestine Northover
  22. 22. Dr. Sigmund Freud Discovers The Sea Shell
    Archibald MacLeish
  23. 23. By The Sea
    Sara Teasdale
  24. 24. The Sea
    Lewis Carroll
  25. 25. An Hour Is A Sea
    Emily Dickinson
  26. 26. Song Of The Sea
    Rainer Maria Rilke
  27. 27. A Sea-Spell
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  28. 28. The Sea
    Barry Cornwall
  29. 29. The Sea-Child
    Eliza Cook
  30. 30. Clouds Above The Sea
    Philip Levine
  31. 31. Sea Love
    Charlotte Mary Mew
  32. 32. On The Road To The Sea
    Charlotte Mary Mew
  33. 33. Sea Poppies
    Hilda Doolittle
  34. 34. Sound Of The Sea, The
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  35. 35. Or From That Sea Of Time
    Walt Whitman
  36. 36. Home Thoughts, From The Sea
    Robert Browning
  37. 37. To Frinton-On-Sea By Train - The Annual ..
    Ernestine Northover
  38. 38. Sea Dreams
    Alfred Lord Tennyson
  39. 39. I Have Loved Hours At Sea
    Sara Teasdale
  40. 40. The Sea
    Dorothy Parker
  41. 41. A Distance From The Sea
    Weldon Kees
  42. 42. The Sound Of The Sea
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  43. 43. A Tale Of The Sea
    William Topaz McGonagall
  44. 44. The Sea And The Skylark
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
  45. 45. Come O'Er The Sea
    Thomas Moore
  46. 46. In Cabin'D Ships At Sea
    Walt Whitman
  47. 47. The Cat And The Sea
    Ronald Stuart Thomas
  48. 48. Sonnet 65: Since Brass, Nor Stone, Nor E..
    William Shakespeare
  49. 49. The Sea And The Hills
    Rudyard Kipling
  50. 50. Sea-Shore Memories
    Walt Whitman

New Sea Poems

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  9. Memento Mori, Peter Mamara
  10. Sea Timeless Song, Hassan mohammed

Sea Poems

  1. A Sea Dirge

    There are certain things - as, a spider, a ghost, The income-tax, gout, an umbrella for three - That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most Is a thing they call the Sea. Pour some salt water over the floor - Ugly I'm sure you'll allow it to be: Suppose it extended a mile or more, THAT'S very like the Sea. Beat a dog till it howls outright - Cruel, but all very well for a spree: Suppose that he did so day and night, THAT would be like the Sea. I had a vision of nursery-maids; Tens of thousands passed by me - All leading children with wooden spades, And this was by the Sea. Who invented those spades of wood? Who was it cut them out of the tree? None, I think, but an idiot could - Or one that loved the Sea. It is pleasant and dreamy, no doubt, to float With 'thoughts as boundless, and souls as free': But, suppose you are very unwell in the boat, How do you like the Sea? There is an insect that people avoid (Whence is derived the verb 'to flee'). Where have you been by it most annoyed? In lodgings by the Sea. If you like your coffee with sand for dregs, A decided hint of salt in your tea, And a fishy taste in the very eggs - By all means choose the Sea. And if, with these dainties to drink and eat, You prefer not a vestige of grass or tree, And a chronic state of wet in your feet, Then - I recommend the Sea. For I have friends who dwell by the coast - Pleasant friends they are to me! It is when I am with them I wonder most That anyone likes the Sea. They take me a walk: though tired and stiff, To climb the heights I madly agree; And, after a tumble or so from the cliff, They kindly suggest the Sea. I try the rocks, and I think it cool That they laugh with such an excess of glee, As I heavily slip into every pool That skirts the cold cold Sea.

  2. Sea Calm

    How still, How strangely still The water is today, It is not good For water To be so still that way.

  3. Sonnet Xxxiv (You Are The Daughter Of The Sea)

    You are the daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin. Swimmer, your body is pure as the water; cook, your blood is quick as the soil. Everything you do is full of flowers, rich with the earth. Your eyes go out toward the water, and the waves rise; your hands go out to the earth and the seeds swell; you know the deep essence of water and the earth, conjoined in you like a formula for clay. Naiad: cut your body into turquoise pieces, they will bloom resurrected in the kitchen. This is how you become everything that lives. And so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms that push back the shadows so that you can rest-- vegetables, seaweed, herbs: the foam of your dreams. Translated by Stephen Tapscott Submitted by Hen

  4. The Sea Is History

    Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs? Where is your tribal memory? Sirs, in that gray vault. The sea. The sea has locked them up. The sea is History. First, there was the heaving oil, heavy as chaos; then, likea light at the end of a tunnel, the lantern of a caravel, and that was Genesis. Then there were the packed cries, the shit, the moaning: Exodus. Bone soldered by coral to bone, mosaics mantled by the benediction of the shark's shadow, that was the Ark of the Covenant. Then came from the plucked wires of sunlight on the sea floor the plangent harp of the Babylonian bondage, as the white cowries clustered like manacles on the drowned women, and those were the ivory bracelets of the Song of Solomon, but the ocean kept turning blank pages looking for History. Then came the men with eyes heavy as anchors who sank without tombs, brigands who barbecued cattle, leaving their charred ribs like palm leaves on the shore, then the foaming, rabid maw of the tidal wave swallowing Port Royal, and that was Jonah, but where is your Renaissance? Sir, it is locked in them sea sands out there past the reef's moiling shelf, where the men-o'-war floated down; strop on these goggles, I'll guide you there myself. It's all subtle and submarine, through colonnades of coral, past the gothic windows of sea fans to where the crusty grouper, onyx-eyed, blinks, weighted by its jewels, like a bald queen; and these groined caves with barnacles pitted like stone are our cathedrals, and the furnace before the hurricanes: Gomorrah. Bones ground by windmills into marl and cornmeal, and that was Lamentations - that was just Lamentations, it was not History; then came, like scum on the river's drying lip, the brown reeds of villages mantling and congealing into towns, and at evening, the midges' choirs, and above them, the spires lancing the side of God as His son set, and that was the New Testament. Then came the white sisters clapping to the waves' progress, and that was Emancipation - jubilation, O jubilation - vanishing swiftly as the sea's lace dries in the sun, but that was not History, that was only faith, and then each rock broke into its own nation; then came the synod of flies, then came the secretarial heron, then came the bullfrog bellowing for a vote, fireflies with bright ideas and bats like jetting ambassadors and the mantis, like khaki police, and the furred caterpillars of judges examining each case closely, and then in the dark ears of ferns and in the salt chuckle of rocks with their sea pools, there was the sound like a rumour without any echo of History, really beginning.

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