Dingle Bay, Summer 2012 | Sean Woodard

Image: Xulong Liu

Along the cliffs of Ceann Sibéal
herds of sheep graze, weighed
down by crimped fleece.

Rough-hewn Celtic crosses,
slathered in dust and moss,
peek out from brittle underbrush.

A boat slices through still bay waters,
inboard motor stirring up foam
as the throttle is revved.

A gray dorsal fin approaches the vessel.
With a barrel roll and flick of his flukes,
Fungie the bottlenose dolphin launches

into the air, slips back under the surface,
and reemerges to nuzzle starboard
and port sides with his rostrum.

The Ring of Kerry is bathed in gold
as Dingle’s red and white lighthouse guides
Fungie back to the bosom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sean Woodard (he/him) is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also serves as the film editor for Drunk Monkeys. His creative works has appeared in NonBinary ReviewThe Cost of Paper Vol. 4, and Found Polaroids, among other publications. You may follow him at http://seanwoodard.com, Twitter @seanwoodard7326 and Instagram @swoodard7326.

2 thoughts on “Dingle Bay, Summer 2012 | Sean Woodard

  1. I wonder why the first line of the 3rd stanza does not follow the same punctuation scheme the rest of the poem maintains.
    I think Mr. Woodard is trying to emphasize the beauty of the fin, worthy of standing alone (in its own sentence) vs the man made beauty along the coast, needing clarification and drawn out sentences to view fully.


    1. The author of the poem corrected me by pointing out the 4th stanza has the fun reference.

      But after reviewing it, the description of the dolphin has a different grammar scheme then the rest. It appears that
      Me. Woodward reinforces the difference in the beauty between man and nature with the stanza/sentence structure.

      The man made beauty follows a 3 line, 1 sentence, 1 stanza pattern. Meanwhile, the description of the natural dolphin has first a 1 line, 1 sentence, 1/3 stanza then is followed by 5 lines 1 sentence, 5/3 stanza.

      The implication, I feel, is man’s addition to beauty, if not art, can only be expressed by rigid structure. Like this poem. BUT the natural beauty cannot be contained by such limitations.

      A meta poem about a simple outing that almost critiques itself. Well done.


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