On Friday, as I have said, my colleagues presented their assignments for Writing 201, a developmental writing class. One of them was an Object Description assignment Lewis discussed. In the course of explaining what sorts of objects he encouraged students to choose for the topic, he said that they shouldn't choose something like the ocean because it is impossible to describe. Of course, I took that as a dare. Here's the result:
He says the ocean can't be parsed.
Just when you think you have it nailed,
the angry green goes glassy pale
and all Caribbean, sublime, the blue
of sapphire skies or aqua pools,
the eyes of silent staring Siamese.
Or where the angler swims,
the purple bottom of the sea, the water's
bright with phosphorescent sparks.
Can a description ever catch
the essence of what changes?
Other things more sure than these
do not endure as long.
Drawn by the moon, the chameleon sea
takes on the shape and shade of air:
now topped by marcel waves,
now thrashing in its bed.
It cannot be contained.
Truthfully, the ocean's minted
every moment, every hour.
And this is why it charms the restless
mind, why probably we find
ourselves most present there,
loving what can't be limited
what must be made and made,
and consequently, never fades.