Grains Of Sand

Grains Of Sand


“I stand Amid the roar of a surf tormented shore…” E. A. Poe

I remember the day so clearly, walking into my father’s study.  Between his career and college classes, he had precious little time so  I hovered around the edges of his world waiting for the crumbs of his attention which I greedily snatched up like a winter bird.  At last he sat back in his chair with the sigh of someone who’d completed their work.  ”Hey, Kiddo!”

He’d been referencing the book that lay open on his desk so I asked about his literature  assignment.  He read to me his work and then read from the work he’d referenced. Encouraging my interest, he welcomed me to enjoy his study and the choice of books  shelved above his desk.  I chose a volume of The complete works of Edgar Allen Poe.

Though I was familiar with a couple of his stories as required in my English class, I was not acquainted with his poetry.  Once introduced, I consumed it but one of them I loved more than any other.  I read it’s lines over and over again, committing each to memory, all the while falling in love for the first time with poetry and the poet as only a 14 yr old can.

His vivid imagery transported me to the beach where I grew up, the smell, the sound, the sand but above all, the current of underlying sadness.  I felt connected to his words in ways that I could not yet put words to.  Through  years and life the words would reveal themselves more richly, the longing and the desperation to grasp and hold the things we cherish only to watch them slip away like sand through our fingers…Love…Life…Time.

 A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


©Laura M. Bailey, All the shoes I wear & writing down the Bones, 1990–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura M. Bailey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. So touching! I never really thought of reading Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry, but this one struck me and your memories and why you were drawn to his poetry just made it all the more interesting to read. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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