Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

The Sound

Accabonac, Shinnecock, Peconic, Napeague,
the creek, the bay, the stream, the Sound, the sounds

of consonants, hard C’s and K’s. Atlantic,
the ocean’s surge, the clicks of waves

collapsed on rocks in corrugated waters,
the crowd circling a stranded whale

sent by the god Moshup to beach at Paumanok.
The Montauks left us names. Their successors,

Millers and Bennetts, whose names are carved
on local gravestones, rode rough tides,

strung trawl lines for cod, and even on Sundays,
parked vans by the sea and gazed in fear

until commercial hauls replaced their boats.
Surfmen gave names to streets that bag the tourists,

who prize their charm. I hear old sailors rage,
in many languages, against cold winds,

the light now clear, now haze: Pharoahs and Mulfords,
whalers (names unknown), hurl throaty curses

that rise with the sound of waves and with the cries
of an ice-colored gull plucking scallops in shallows.

Grace Schulman’s latest book of poems is Without a Claim, out this month. She teaches at Baruch College, in New York City.
Presented by

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In