Poem Project – entry #20 Sea Joy
Sea Joy by Jacqueline Bouvier
When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the booming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter ‘round about me.
I can run about – when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
And the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish
Oh – to live by the sea is my only wish.
My mother’s family owned property for 100 years in a town not far from Hyannis, home to the Kennedy compound. I’ve mentioned before a special fascination for Caroline Kennedy as a young adult because we were similar in age, shared a birthday month, and I lived near DC during her days in the White House. It was easy to envision her summers on Cape Cod with family because I was just down the beach, doing the same thing – not on such a grand scale – but it was the one and only time I’ve felt a connection to a celebrity. This poem by Jacqueline Kennedy isn’t my favorite sea-shore poem but it’s the only one I know that is probably written about regional beaches that I’ve actually seen and spent time on. I’ve seen little dressing room cottages like the one pictured on the fabric; I’ve looked at sailing ships like these through binoculars as I sat on my parent’s deck in Cotuit.
I live on the west coast, where sand isn’t as common, as fine, or even the same color as on the Cape! Basalt and sandstone rocks covered with barnacles are more the norm, the better to harbor fleshy purple starfish, crabs, limpets and sea cucumber. I haven’t found a poem that describes a northwest beach!
I do love a sandy beach and I think A. A. Milne describes my childhood beach experiences the best:
“We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose, And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.”
I made this fabric piece for my friend, because she loves the Oregon coast, having spent childhood days there. I hope she’ll hang this piece in her kitchen, reminding her of the place she likes to go when she’s on vacation from the classroom!