The Yachts Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


contend in a sea which the land partly enclosesA
shielding them from the too heavy blowsA
of an ungoverned ocean which when it choosesA
tortures the biggest hulls the best man knowsA
to pit against its beatings and sinks them pitilesslyB
Mothlike in mists scintillant in the minuteC
brilliance of cloudless days with broad bellying sailsA
they glide to the wind tossing green waterD
from their sharp prows while over them the crew crawlsA
ant like solicitously grooming them releasingE
making fast as they turn lean far over and havingE
caught the wind again side by side head for the markF
In a well guarded arena of open water surrounded byG
lesser and greater craft which sycophant lumberingE
and flittering follow them they appear youthful rareH
as the light of a happy eye live with the graceA
of all that in the mind is feckless free andI
naturally to be desired Now the sea which holds themJ
is moody lapping their glossy sides as if feelingE
for some slightest flaw but fails completelyB
Today no race Then the wind comes again The yachtsA
move jockeying for a start the signal is set and theyK
are off Now the waves strike at them but they are tooL
well made they slip through though they take in canvasA
Arms with hands grasping seek to clutch at the prowsA
Bodies thrown recklessly in the way are cut asideM
It is a sea of faces about them in agony in despairH
until the horror of the race dawns staggering the mindN
the whole sea become an entanglement of watery bodiesA
lost to the world bearing what they cannot hold BrokenO
beaten desolate reaching from the dead to be taken upP
they cry out failing failing their cries risingE
in waves still as the skillful yachts pass overD

William Carlos Williams


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