Responding to Matthew Arnold, Tide Still Going Out

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[As mentioned (and read) in my latest Last Impressions podcast, Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach” had such an effect on my that I couldn’t stop myself from writing the following response.]

 

What if the tide is going out? So what?
It ebbs and flows and comes and goes and shows
then only girdle, but soon only gut.

And that soft skin the tide of cloth exposed,
should I see it as vulgar truth displayed
or as my loved one bare, from nose to toes?

Matthew, a younger man than I, though staid,
when he wrote of Dover’s retiring din,
mistook mere hours’ light for life useless — grayed.

Young sir, my elder!

There’s beauty going out as coming in.
The tide’s a tiff, each sally to rebut.
The end o’erwhelmes where you or I begin.



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