Spring high tide at Fish Hoek beach

Friday poem: A Beginner’s Guide to the Ocean

A Beginner’s Guide to the Ocean – Ogden Nash

Let us now consider the ocean.
It is always in motion.
It is generally understood to be the source of much of our rain,
And ten thousand fleets are said to have swept over it in vain.
When the poet requested it to break break break on its cold gray rocks it obligingly broke broke broke.
Which as the poet was Alfred Lord Tennyson didn’t surprise him at all but if it had been me I would probably have had a stroke.
Some people call it the Atlantic and some the Pacific or the Antarctic or the Indian or the Mediterranean Sea,
But I always say what difference does it make, some old geographer mumbling a few words of it, it will always be just the Ocean to me.
There is an immortal dignity about something like the Atlantic,
Which seems to drive unimmortal undignified human beings frustratedly frantic.
Just give them one foot on the beach and people who were perfectly normal formerly, or whilom,
Why, they are subject to whoops and capers that would get them blackballed from an asylum;
Yet be they never so rampant and hollerant,
The ocean is tolerant,
Except a couple of times a day it gives up in disgust and goes off by itself and hides,
And that, my dears, accounts for the tides.

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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