"Conch Shell Pastel" by Ria Hills‘The Conch Shell’ by Sally Sandler The Society June 10, 2019 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 10 Comments Its coarse name belies this silken treasure, with iridescent dome and spiral apse. Imagination slips in with pleasure, to contemplate an opus like blown glass. Perhaps a queen lived here (no plain pauper,) within these walls of vaulted pedigree, with sheets of silk moiré, pearl-lined coffer, and deep in strains of Handel’s symphony. But if a pauper, she was quite clever— as well, a soul of generosity— to create such beauty, and forever bequeath to us the mystery of the sea. But does it work? Ask children passing near. Just listen! All of Time is what you hear. Sally Sandler is a writer and graduate of the University of Michigan. She lives in San Diego, California. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 10 Responses Frank De Canio June 10, 2019 Vert well done, allusively charming and with much craft! Reply Peter Hartley June 10, 2019 Very evocative and the poem has good imagery. But Handel didn’t compose any symphonies as we ordinarily understand the word, did he? He was a bit too early. The so-called “Father of the Symphony” was Haydn, so perhaps you could alter Handel to Haydn? Reply Evan Mantyk June 10, 2019 Mr. Hartley, I think she is probably thinking of Handel’s Water Music due to the conch shell theme. Reply Peter Hartley June 10, 2019 Mr Mantyk – And conch shells are indeed found in the Thames upon which the Water Music was first performed! The so-called Water Music, though, as you will know, is an instrumental suite. But it would be a pity to let this get in the way of a good poem. Sultana Raza June 10, 2019 Lovely and evocative imagery. Loved the clever use of words, married to this concept of timelessness. Reply C.B. Anderson June 10, 2019 Conch shells in England?! I thought they were tropical. Perhaps they are being conflated here with whelks, which would be a natural mistake. And indeed, though technically uneven (unless one regards it as purely syllabic verse) the poem is very nice indeed. Reply Peter Hartley June 10, 2019 CBA – Not native to UK, as you say, but found by mudlarks on the Thames, in ballast possibly dumped by ships from the Bahamas. Reply James A. Tweedie June 11, 2019 Sally, I like your poem very much. I felt as if I was sharing in your innermost musings and found them quite entertaining. I had never thought of the word “conch” as being coarse, but, of course (pun intended) it is indeed a ironically harsh word for what is often a delicate shell. Peter, I like what you said re Handel and the word symphony, but the word also has a natural, non-technical meaning which, for me at least, worked quite well. A synonymous word, “euphony,” was used by Amy Foreman not too long ago, a word that would also fit in well here. Conch shells in the Thames? I love it when I learn something new in the comments! Reply Peter Hartley June 11, 2019 James, I do know that rarer meaning of “symphony” from the Greek for “together sound”, but it just didn’t occur to me that it would be used in that sense. As soon as I think “Handel” I think sacred oratorio, Semele (a hybrid) and more Italian operas than you could shake a stick at (nearly forty boxed sets of which, on vinyl, I still have languishing in our box-room). But of course you are right, and either by accident or design the “Handel Symphony” is born. I certainly give it more credence than John Cage’s concerto for bugle and glockenspiel. PS have a great time in the Hebrid Isles! Reply James A. Tweedie June 11, 2019 Peter , At the moment I am in Dingle, Ireland. On my way from one heaven to another . . . Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.