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Amy Clampitt - Beach Glass

While you walk the water's edge,
turning over concepts
I can't envision, the honking buoy
serves notice that at any time
the wind may change,
the reef-bell clatters
its treble monotone, deaf as Cassandra
to any note but warning. The ocean,
cumbered by no business more urgent 
than keeping open old accounts
that never balanced,
goes on shuffling its millenniums
of quartz, granite, and basalt.
                    It behaves
toward the permutations of novelty—
driftwood and shipwreck, last night's
beer cans, spilt oil, the coughed-up
residue of plastic—with random
impartiality, playing catch or tag
ot touch-last like a terrier,
turning the same thing over and over,
over and over. For the ocean, nothing
is beneath consideration.
                    The houses
of so many mussels and periwinkles
have been abandoned here, it's hopeless
to know which to salvage. Instead
I keep a lookout for beach glass—
amber of Budweiser, chrysoprase
of Almadén and Gallo, lapis
by way of (no getting around it,
I'm afraid) Phillips'
Milk of Magnesia, with now and then a rare
translucent turquoise or blurred amethyst
of no known origin.
                    The process
goes on forever: they came from sand,
they go back to gravel, 
along with treasuries
of Murano, the buttressed
astonishments of Chartres,
which even now are readying
for being turned over and over as gravely
and gradually as an intellect
engaged in the hazardous
redefinition of structures
no one has yet looked at.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 6900 times | Comments and analysis of Beach Glass by Amy Clampitt Comments (3)

Beach Glass - Comments and Information

Poet: Amy Clampitt
Poem: Beach Glass

Comment 3 of 3, added on June 13th, 2013 at 7:44 PM.
Wonderful Site You Have Here!

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Vedlinejada from Netherlands-Antilles
Comment 2 of 3, added on December 2nd, 2010 at 5:16 PM.
poetry

Paraphrase the poem "Beach Glass" by Amy Clampitt

Stephanie.Gonzales from United States
Comment 1 of 3, added on February 12th, 2009 at 3:57 PM.

What a fabulous poem! This reminds me of the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California. The beach is a cove which long ago was the town dump, and which is now covered with beach glass.

Nicolette Toussaint from United States

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