Point Shirley Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


From Water Tower Hill to the brick prisonA
The shingle booms bickering underB
The sea's collapseC
Snowcakes break and welter This yearD
The gritted wave leapsE
The seawall and drops onto a bierF
Of quahog chipsG
Leaving a salty mash of ice to whitenA
In my grandmother's sand yard She is deadH
Whose laundry snapped and froze here whoI
Kept house againstJ
What the tish rutted sea could doI
Squall waves once dancedK
Ship timbers in through the cellar windowL
A thresh tailed lancedL
Shark littered in the geranium bedL
Such collusion of mulish elementsM
She wore her broom straws to the nubN
Twenty years outL
Of her hand the house still hugs in each drabO
Stucco socketL
The purple egg stones from Great Head's knobP
To the filled in GutL
The sea in its cold gizzard ground those roundsQ
Nobody wintering now behindL
The planked up windows where she setL
Her wheat loavesR
And apple cakes to cool What is itL
Survives grievesS
So battered obstinate spitL
Of gravel The waves'S
Spewed relics clicker masses in the windL
Grey waves the stub necked eiders rideL
A labor of love and that labor lostL
Steadily the seaS
Eats at Point Shirley She died blessedL
And I come byT
Bones only bones pawed and tossedL
A dog faced seaS
The sun sinks under Boston bloody redL
I would get from these dry papped stonesS
The milk your love instilled in themU
The black ducks diveV
And though your graciousness might streamW
And I contriveV
Grandmother stones are nothing of homeX
To that spumiest doveY
Against both bar and tower the black sea runsS

Sylvia Plath


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