Elizabeth Bishop
The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.
The beach hisses like fat, On his left, a sheet                       5
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.
-- Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them,
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains                    10
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.
The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn't tell you which.                    15
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,
looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray,
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.                    20



Line 4: William Blake, the visionary Romantic poet, wrote in the opening lines of his poem, "Auguries of Innocence," that the poet wanted

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Line 20: Amethyst and rose quartz are both varieties of quartz, which is crystalline silicon dioxide.