- 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.