An arid daylight shines along the beach
Dried to a grey monotony of tone,
And stranded jelly-fish melt soft upon
The sun-baked pebbles, far beyond their reach
Sparkles a wet, reviving sea. Here bleach
The skeletons of fishes, every bone
Polished and stark, like traceries of stone,
The joints and knuckles hardened each to each.
And they are dead while waiting for the sea,
The moon-pursuing sea, to come again.
Their hearts are blown away on the hot breeze.
Only the shells and stones can wait to be
Washed bright. For living things, who suffer pain,
May not endure till time can bring them ease.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Amy Lowell's poem Irony


  1. Ally says:

    also ~~ The writer gives a tone of gloom and dispiritedness in her poem, placing pain as unconquerable for those who live. Her setting begins with the tone of melancholy, “An arid daylight shines” and “dried to a grey monotony of tone”. She uses the example of the sea creatures who remained dead in their “skeletons” just by the “reviving sea”, as if they could escaped their pain and suffering and the essence of their life, the sea, was just right next to them. The irony is present in how sea creatures like jellyfishes, and fish live out, their only way of surviving is to stay in the water. The ironic part is the fact they are right next to the sea and their remains, their skeletons stay scattered besides, or they are stranded on above the “sunbaked pebbles”, waiting with each minute with less time for their life.

  2. Ally says:

    Yes im the third to comment

  3. mr magoo says:

    yes im the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Amy Lowell better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.