A queer thing about those waters: there are no

Birds there, or hardly any.

I did not miss them, I do not remember

Missing them, or thinking it uncanny.

 

The beach so-called was a blinding splinter of limestone,

A quarry outraged by hulls.

We took pleasure in that: the emptiness, the hardness

Of the light, the silence, and the water’s stillness.

 

But this was the setting for one of our murderous scenes.

This hurt, and goes on hurting:

The venomous soft jelly, the undersides.

We could stand the world if it were hard all over.

  • Donald Davie, "Across the Bay" from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1985 by Donald Davie.  Reprinted by permission of Carcanet Press, Ltd.

  • Source: Selected Poems (Carcanet Press Ltd, 1985)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I cannot say enough about Poetry Out Loud and what the program has done for my colleagues and our students. I have seen what this amazing program does for poetry lovers and poetry skeptics alike."
Craig Lawrence
2014 IL POL Champion Teacher