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Saturday, 1 November 2014

THE SEA: Tennyson, "Break, Break, Break", Sue Garth Graphic; Adam Lindsay Gordon, "The Swimmer"

Oxford Today

I like Sue Garth's graphic design and artistic layout of the quotations from Tennyson's "Break, Break, Break" (see Oxford Today, link above)

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

I'm surprised this poem hasn't been set to music more often. Here's a setting in aria style by Webster Young (YouTube)

It deserves a setting as powerfully orchestrated as Elgar's "The Swimmer" (poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon):

The Swimmer, Janet Baker, from Elgar's Sea Pictures

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