The Ocean Poems for Elementary School Lesson

These are three poems I used last year to go with a unit on poetry and the science unit on the ocean. The poems are "The World Below the Brine" by Walt Whitman, "I started early..." by Emily Dickinson and "Poem: a nothing day" by James Schuyler.



The World Below the Brine
by: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the
thick tangle openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and
gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten,
grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly
crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray,
or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy
sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those
ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle
air breathed by beings like us who walk this
The change onward from ours to that of beings who
walk other spheres.

520.“I Started Early–Took My Dog”
by Emily Dickinson

I started Early–Took my Dog–
And Visited the Sea–
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me–

And Frigates–in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands–
Presuming Me to be a Mouse–
Aground–upon the Sands–

But no Man moved Me–till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe–
And past my Apron–and my Belt
And past my Bodice–too–

And made as He would eat me up–
As wholly as a Dew
Upon a Dandelion’s Sleeve–
And then–I started–too–

And He–He followed–close behind–
I felt His Silver Heel
Upon my Ankle–Then my Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl–

Until We met the Solid Town–
No One He seemed to know–
And bowing–with a Mighty look–
At me–The Sea withdrew–