Friday, July 9, 2010

Things to Do If You Are the Ocean: An Original Poem

My daughter is getting married tomorrow! We're having the wedding rehearsal this evening. Both my daughter’s wedding and reception will take place in historic Salem, Massachusetts—a city that should be remembered for its maritime history…not just because of the infamous witch trials of 1692 that took place there.

(Note: you can find out more about Sara’s wedding reception in A Wild Rose Wedding: What’s on the Menu.)

My daughter grew up near a tidal estuary. There is a lovely seaside park—with two beaches, rolling lawns, shade trees, and a rose garden—in the city where we live. Our family spent many summer days at the park when Sara was young.

My daughter, my husband, and I all love the ocean. We enjoy feeling a cooling sea breeze when the weather is as hot and humid as it has been this past week. We love the sound of the water lapping on the shore…the briny smell of the sea. If the weather is fair tomorrow, we’ll even be taking wedding photos down on Derby Wharf in Salem.

I think you'll be able to figure out why I selected the following “things to do” poem to post today.

by Elaine Magliaro

Wrap yourself in a shawl of sky-blue silk.

Trim its edges with lace.

Embroider it with seabirds and sequins of sunlight.

Lap the rocky shore with your salty tongue.

In summer, cool the burning sands.

Let Moon be your mistress.

Rise and fall at her command.


Find out more about Salem, Massachusetts

Aerial View of Salem

Maritime History of Massachusetts

Take a virtual tour of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Note: Author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked at the Custom House in this city on the North Shore during his term as Surveyor of the Port of Salem from 1846 to 1849.

The Custom House

View from the Custom House


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Carol’s Corner.


Bridget R. Wilson said...

Another beautiful poem, Elaine! I'm not finding much time to write lately. I miss it. If only I could make writing a habit...

Janet Wong said...

A perfect pre-Wedding Day poem for Sara! Enjoy tomorrow!

Looking for the Write Words said...


I always love your Things to do poems and this one is perfect for wedding rehearsal day. I hope it is as fabulous as last July 10th our daughters wedding day. Cheers to a fabulous day for Sara and the whole family.


Elaine Magliaro said...

Bridget, Janet, & Theresa--

Thanks for your comments. It doesn't look like we're going to have great weather tomorrow. That's okay. We'll have a grand day anyway!

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Elaine, I really enjoy your "Things to Do if You Are" poems! They really unleash the imagination.

Best wishes to you, your daughter, and the wedding party!

Linda said...

Elaine, such beautiful imagery! I agree with the others, it's a perfect pre-wedding poem. Tomorrow will be full of emotions, and I know you will write poems about this special event someday. I'll be thinking about you!

jama said...

Another beauty, Elaine. Love the shawl of sky-blue silk, and the Moon as Mistress.

I've been to Salem once and found it very interesting. Have a wonderful day tomorrow!!

Ben Curran said...

Hi Elaine,
I've been following your blog for a while now and I have to say, this is my favorite "Things to Do..." poem yet. My students really enjoyed "Things to Do If You are King Kong." I can't wait to share this one with them.

I just recently started blogging about poetry (only 2 posts so far), but if you get a minute, please check it out:


Anonymous said...


Joyce said...

Congratulations, Elaine! Have fun! And I love your ocean poem . . .

Amy L V said...

Your poem is an ocean-delight! I adore the "sequins and seabirds of sunlight" as well as "Let Moon be your mistress. Rise and fall at her command." May your new son-in-law do the same for your daughter! Congratulations to all!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I like that.

I hope the wedding is going splendidly today!!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Lovely poem that makes me want to rush back to the beach, like the tide.

Hope the wedding was all it should be; wonderful wild and wow!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks to all for commenting. My feet have finally touched ground after a very special weekend. My daughter was a beautiful bride. The wedding reception was wonderful. I had a blast!

laurasalas said...

Elaine, congratulations! You've been working so hard to help Sara have a gorgeous wedding. So glad to see your comment that all went fantastically. Can't wait to hear more.

Your ocean poem is stunning. Those first three lines especially. Makes me want to wrap myself in the ocean itself.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Toby & Laura,


Sara got her wish. The rain stopped just before we headed off to the church--and we were able to have wedding pictures taken down by the water on Derby Wharf in Salem.

About "Things to Do If You Are the Ocean: I had thought it was one of the weaker poems in the original collection.