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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.

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