Updated date:

Beaches in Poetry With a Poem; the Shipwrecked Soul


Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

A South Carolina Beach

A South Carolina Beach

Memories of Beaches

I recall my youth playing along the beaches in my state. I built sand castles and watched with amusement as foot prints washed away. Often, I would be the first on the beach, marveling at the sunrise, waving to the seagulls searching for breakfast. I spent time enjoying the breeze against my face with a grin. On many of those mornings, my family gathered for devotions on those wondrous shores.

Over the years, I realize why the peaceful times on the beach inspires creativity. There is a freshness to living when stopping on the beach to examine existence. I observed the ocean with curiosity, a work of literature in my hands. Indeed, glimpse a few feet away from the sandy surface and the potential for glory or despair moves rhythmically in the surging and retreating tides. Listening to songs about the beaches often bring to mind fun or rescue from perils.

This is why I wrote the poem below, “The Shipwrecked Soul.” Essentially, life is always changing; we needn't be left behind. I’ve also included some symbolic uses of beaches in art. Finally, I’ve included a few classic novels with a beach oriented setting with tips on reading poetry.


The Shipwrecked Soul

Seamless shifting sands,

Torment dunes command,

Ships sailing sorrow seas.

Pleading I waved,

Despair my heart preyed,

Adrift tears drowned my pleas.

To rise afloat no more,

Depriving my guiding hands,

Graveyard Atlantic she sleeps.

Caught in twisted blue vortex,

Hundred miles from land,

Wood underwater a vault keeps.

Caswell Beach, NC

Caswell Beach, NC

Bones chipped frozen stones,

Pained being wrapped bands,

Stormed vessel below the deep.

Down mighty she fought,

Every made fiber and strand,

Resting beneath the ocean peace.

Random surge capsize,

In tandem jump from can,

Launched my crew over their knees.

To captain abandon no more,

Surf laughter cold bitten ran,

Shored up cemetery to me.

Gales gusting my blood,

Boat bordered and manned,

Tides teasing appeased.

Throw line to forever,

To net wild eternity,

Cyclone baited destiny.

Holden Beach, NC

Holden Beach, NC

She sang nautical dirge,

She fled while others’ stand,

Seas chanting her deceased.

Catch now sinking memory,

Clasp firm with steel hands,

Wind and rain rule the sea.

Stream of Gulf married Labrador,

Spinning a doomsday fan,

Sprouting feelings in me.

I prayed bleeding,

Watching storms grinding sand,

Comfort beach strolling me.

Ask opinion of Neptune,

Sky makes water expand,

Man to earth fish to the sea.

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA

Beaches and Poetry

Poetry can take many shapes and forms. For example, poetry may or may not rhyme. A poem may or may not have stanzas. Poems can tackle real or imagined situations. The variations in how a poem is written depend on the author. Yet, one fact is essential in poetry – poems were meant to be experienced by the reader. Any structural aspect of the poem is secondary to the ability of the work to give “Meaning.”

In the above poem, I wrote about an imaginary person “shipwrecked” on the beaches of North Carolina, a real place. I made reference to the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” located where the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Currents meet. Off the coast of the state, Countless ships have been lost where these ocean currents come together near Cape Hatteras. With these details, the reader can let his/her mind enjoy the experience. However, the reader may wonder from the poem:

Questions a Reader May Ask

  1. Is the author using metaphors to underscore a point?
  2. What century is the author referring to in the work?
  3. What feelings does the poem bring to surface?
  4. Should a person give up after disaster?
  5. Is there value in being “shipwrecked” literally or figuratively?
  6. Have I been shipwrecked without realizing it?

In any case, a reader ponders a poem and allows his/her knowledge of life to help with interpretation. Through the use of interpretation, meaning develops. This is one way the reader of a poem can enjoy the experience of the work. Thank you for reading my poem. Please, leave comments if you enjoyed: “The Shipwrecked Soul” after the section below.

Symbolism of Beaches in Creative Works with Three Novels

Authors of books, poetry, and creators of films may use the symbolism of beaches in several ways in their works. Primarily, a beach can indicate a transition from one state to another. Also, a beach can suggest the plot is at a concluding point. In addition, a beach can represent the beginning of a struggle for survival, as in the film released in 2000, “Castaway,” starring Tom Hanks. In the 1988 cinematic drama, “beaches,” the sandy soil represents changes in life. Because beaches are powerful metaphors in movies and literature, read and view carefully to better understand what the author is communicating. Here are three classic novels which use the beach as a symbol:

  • Jackson, M., Corrado, G., Clemen, G. D., & Defoe, D. (2000). Robison Crusoe. Barcelona: Vicens Vives.
  • Stevenson, R. L., Brock, H. M., & Gilpin, S. (2017). Treasure Island. London: Macmillan Collectors Library.
  • Vivier, M. D., Peppé, M., & Wyss, J. D. (2015). The Swiss family Robinson. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education.
The beach at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

The beach at Kitty Hawk, N.C.


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 15, 2020:

Holden Beach, N.C. received a boost of sand when Hurricane Isaias came to shore this year. It was amazing to see the new dunes. Beaches change, and we travel their routes when close to the sea. I appreciate the visit.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 29, 2020:

Beaches today may change in the future. Cities, like Manila, are dealing with increased water levels as the ocean rises. San Francisco is moving people away from potential flood zones and building walls to protect property. The ocean helps to shape where our beaches are. I appreciate your visit.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on December 23, 2019:

The arrival of Hurricane Florence was another chapter in the long relationship N.C. has had with these tremendous storms. Some of those memorable storms include: Mathew, Hazel, Hugo, and Fran. Indeed, shipwrecks are becoming less common due to modern technology and better navigational techniques. But our hearts and ships can still become stranded after the storms of life pass through. Your visit is appreciated.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on December 17, 2019:

Beaches are not all the same. Driving on a beach in N.C. can lead to your vehicle being stuck. But I took a little drive on Daytona Beach, Fl, thinking about the stories the sands could tell us if they could talk. Beaches are different, but the stories they could share are probably similar. Thanks for reading.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 17, 2019:

One of the greatest tragedies on Ocracoke Island was the devastation brought by Hurricane Dorian. According to the N.Y. Times, people went for long stretches without water, but neighbors gathered together to help one another. Living on the Outer Banks can be filled with beauty, but there is risk in everything. A relative had to repair his house, but N.C. was lucky for the most part. I appreciate the visit.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 06, 2019:

Although strong hurricanes are becoming frequent in the eastern U.S., bringing floodwaters and drastic change to ecosystems, nearly one in four people on Earth face water shortage. According to the World Resources Institute, population growth and economics are the big driving factors. If only water could be provided for everyone. Thanks for your time with this article.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on December 22, 2018:

Recently, I visited the beaches where the hurricanes had washed so much sand away on the coast. I walked them for hours, reminiscing about my childhood and the great times we had there. I sat down and read Hemingway, lettting the author take me to the islands and it was refreshing. There is life even when the beaches seem in peril. Thanks for reading.


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 05, 2018:

Coming from a poet I've grown to admire and respect deeply, your comment is one I value greatly.

Much appreciated.


Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on June 05, 2018:

I can't resist a beach or an ocean poem and you gave me both. The images were many and they made me feel the personality of the ocean and sand. The style in which you wrote, the movement and flow of the poem added to my experience of being out at sea. I will put it down and read it again, no doubt finding more shipwrecked meanings. Thanks, Tim, Great Job.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on November 20, 2017:

You are welcomed, my friend. I like to "immerse" myself in a poem. You are right: that's how meaning develops. I thank my English teachers/professors for enlightening me on how to do that. But my psychological background - that's when I learned to "step out of me" and "sense" the meaning around me. Not required for everyone, of course.

Thanks again.

Sonia Sylart from UK on November 20, 2017:

Hi Tim

Although sometimes people can become frustrated when they cannot instantly or fully understand everything in a poem, I must agree that the thoughts, questions and feelings a poem provokes in a person are just as important as "understanding". Plus as far both understanding and feelings are concerned, reading and re-reading are very worthwhile. Often each time we re-read we get something else from a piece that we had overlooked beforehand, or our understanding changes to a small or even large degree.

Thanks for this thought provoking hub and poem.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on November 13, 2017:

I composed this work with the old metaphor in mind - we are ships bound in an endless sea. Sometimes, the waters are extremely troubling, forcing us to return to a safe "port." The beaches we walk - family, work, religion, etc. - but the currents that could take us under are always close and threatening. This poem gives a glimpse of those seas and how our inner being may be "shipwrecked." Or it could be "experienced" in the literal sense of the language.

Related Articles