The silver masses rising in huge numbers,
The ship alone upon the sprawling sea,
The snores of men found tossing in their slumbers,
And salt-tinged breezes shivering with me,
The solitary voice of man to man,
Confiding of their former selves, their wives,
The things they learned, the businesses they ran,
The unforgiving crumbs of their past lives,
The crackling of the sails, the eerie hum
Of engines, artificial hearts that thrust
Man’s plodding trek into the distant sun:
All lost within the crashing chaos, lost
Within the vastness that cannot be Man’s.
For Man has marred the earth and will mar more
For Man has walked and sullied all its lands
But Man’s ambitious reach stops at the shore
And on the shore, he’s left to think alone
And wonder on the things he’ll never own.


Gleb Zavlanov is a young poet and songwriter living in New York City. He is a 2017 graduate of Townsend Harris High School. To see more of his poetry, visit (Society of Classical Poets links). His youtube channel can be found here.

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2 Responses

  1. Radice Lebewsu

    Structurally, Mr. Zavlanov’s “Desolate Ocean” edges towards what I would call a Staffordian sonnet [named for Postmodernist poet William Stafford (1914-1993)]. The brief piece opens with an alliterative sestet set in a vigourous, carefully-punctuated cadence of generalities reminiscent of Thomas Gray. Occasionally I am reminded of Byron, Keats and Masefield, its music reminding me only tangentially of Romantic phrases out of Franck or Bruch, its rough language not totally unlike that found in the prose of Jack London or Frank Norris.

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Thank you for your deep and thoughtful analysis. I am flattered that it reminds you of such great poets.


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