As our part of the Sea Britain project (Tidal Words), I decided to focus on the idea of edges today. It really is very special being an island people – a people surrounded completely by water, it makes the sea tremendously significant in our lives. What it means, in effect, is that no matter which direction we travel we will, sooner or later, come to the edge – the sea. This can be frightening and exciting. It’s these ideas that the children have tried to capture in their poems today. We used Matthew Arnold’s poem, ‘Dover Beach’ as inspiration for our writing. Well done everybody. A few more to follow on this theme, probably tomorrow.
PS our classroom stinks of crab claws, shells and pebbles, despite Gilly triple washing everything over the weekend. No problems using that one of our five senses!
- “Dover Beach”
- The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits;–on the French coast, the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the ebb meets the moon-blanch’d sand,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves suck back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
By Matthew Arnold (1822-88).
Poems by some of the children:
Crack of Dawn
(after Matthew Arnold)
The sea is calm this morning.
I look into the sky,
its colours are red, yellow and orange.
Across the sea I see life on another island.
At night there is a full moon.
When I look again
I see life
I’m desperate to see what’s there.
I find a boat,
crush a crab shell,
run towards the boat;
sail across the sea,
see life.(Grant Hanwell)
The sea is calm,
just drifting away.
This dinner time
look at that baby-blue sky
with its full, yellow sun.
See what the tide’s bringing in
fish, crabs, shells, wood, seaweed,
just drifting in.(Vicky Robinson)