Comment 2 of 2, added on September 25th, 2005 at 6:41 PM.
The Chambered Nautilis is a very beautiful sea shell, purple in color and
spiral in shape. It has a series of segments, or chambers. I found one
once, on the shore near Miami, FL and kept it for years. The animal who had
inhabited it had long since left it. I wish I knew what happened to the
shell. Although very fragile, it was in perfect condition. As I understand
the poem, Dr. Holmes is contemplating such a shell and comparing it to the
soul of a human being. Like the shell, our souls can grow as we mature, and
when we die, we leave our worn-out body behind, by "life's unresting sea".
I hope this helps Kathy to understand the poem. I have always remembered
the final stanza, since I think it is particularly beautiful.
Norma Carpenter from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on June 22nd, 2005 at 12:28 PM.
I do not understand this poem, if someone could please help be to get a
better understanding ASAP I would really appreciate it! Thank you
from United States