Spring 1961 • Vol. XXIII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1961 |

Sable Island

60° W—43° 56' N You wouldn't want to go there. Sand is all there is: a graveyard strip of ships' bones in the North Atlantic; backbones, deadeyes, ribs, cast up like the dune itself, by an antic surf. Cabot chose not to land. A Portuguese pilot first named it, Santa Cruz, drifting for fish on the king's orders; it was longer then, before the unchristly wash of wind broke up the bar in stranger shapes than the Cross, which never formed it. All known charts, by 1546, marked its luck as Sable, prized as bad luck, for the centuries of full-sail trade which civilized that beach, with skeletons and cross-trees. Two hundred and fifty known wrecks ghost it now: Gloucestermen, British men-o-war, and Greeks, Nova Scotiamen, and Vikings. Henry stranded his Bastille convicts there, with pardons. A woman with rings on her fingers, lost there when the ship Amelia sank, with all hands, had an emerald hacked off her corpse, by professional wreckers. People hav

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Fairy Tale

By Philip Booth

60° W—43° 56' N You wouldn't want to go there. Sand is all there is: a graveyard strip of ships' bones in the North Atlantic; backbones, deadeyes, ribs, cast up […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.