I know I technically finished Alice Adams yesterday, and should move on to 1923, but I thought I’d give 1922 one more poem, especially as I haven’t started the next Pulitzer novel yet. And an old favorite poet of mine, Carl Sandburg, published an anthology called Slabs of the Sunburnt West, so I thought I’d give it a look. I ended up reading this poem called “Fins”, and I don’t know entirely what to make of it, or what Sandburg was trying to convey. Our first Poetry Friday was a different poem of his, also about the sea, and I really liked that one. I think I might like this one also, but I’m not sure—anyone’s reactions (or proposed exaplanations/interpretations) would be very welcome! So, without any further ado, “Fins”:
Plow over bars of sea plowing,
the moon by moon work of the sea,
the plowing, sand and rock, must
Ride over, ride over bars of sea riding,
the sun and the blue riding of the sea—
sit in the saddles and say it, sea riders.
Slant up and go, silver breakers; mix
the high howls of your dancing; shoot
your laugh of rainbow foam tops.
Foam wings, fly; pick the comers, the fin pink,
the belly green, the blue rain sparks, the
white wave spit—fly, you foam wings.
The men of the sea are gone to work; the women
of the sea are off buying new hats, combs, clocks;
it is rust and gold on the roofs of the sea.