The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.
As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull
The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be–
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.
They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?
I’ve been studying this and I thought I’d mention, there’s a lot of evidence which seems to suggest that this is about Frost’s critics. He is frustrated with some who he feels can’t appreciate his poems and the multiple and delicate interplays of his language and meanings. They cannot appreciate the ‘deeper’ meaning or appreciate the sounds and constructions of them either. To me this poem seems almost like a mock-Frost; where his figurative language is often so dense, rich and original here there is only one metaphor (the ‘glass’) and even the form and construction is, compared with Frost’s other poems, dull. It’s that plodding regularity which to me almost seems to be Frost saying ‘Fine, if you don’t want depth and imagination, here you go.’ while at the same time making his point 🙂 A very clever poem if you ask me.
It is not with open eyes that we can see the deepest or the farthest. So seagulls stare with open eyes?
This poem has many metaphors and can illistrate different images depending on the person
it is a good poem wealth of meaning in it.. preseverence, faith, or plain ignorance…..
The line “the wetter ground like glass reflects a standing gull” made me think of Jesus walking on water. Maybe the people standing on the beach are waiting for their messiah, or “wherever the truth may be-“
i have to do this poem for a english assiment and i think its great its easy to understand and its great.
This is a great modern poem! Its short elaborated thoroughly. It is a great poem for starters and can influence others to be better poets!