By T.S. Eliot

Quis hic locus, quae regio, quae mundi plaga?

What seas what shores what grey rocks and what islands
What water lapping the bow
And scent of pine and the woodthrush singing through the fog
What images return
O my daughter.

Those who sharpen the tooth of the dog, meaning
Those who glitter with the glory of the hummingbird, meaning
Those who sit in the sty of contentment, meaning
Those who suffer the ecstasy of the animals, meaning

Are become insubstantial, reduced by a wind,
A breath of pine, and the woodsong fog
By this grace dissolved in place

What is this face, less clear and clearer
The pulse in the arm, less strong and stronger—
Given or lent? more distant than stars and nearer than the eye
Whispers and small laughter between leaves and hurrying feet
Under sleep, where all the waters meet.

Bowsprit cracked with ice and paint cracked with heat.
I made this, I have forgotten
And remember.
The rigging weak and the canvas rotten
Between one June and another September.
Made this unknowing, half conscious, unknown, my own.
The garboard strake leaks, the seams need caulking.
This form, this face, this life
Living to live in a world of time beyond me; let me
Resign my life for this life, my speech for that unspoken,
The awakened, lips parted, the hope, the new ships.

What seas what shores what granite islands towards my timbers
And woodthrush calling through the fog
My daughter.

The title of poem refers to the daughter of Pericles in Shakespeare's 'Pericles'
She is associated with the sea because she was born at sea.
Marina being the latin feminine adjective for marine the sea.
Sea imagery is appropriately central to the poem.
In Shakespeare's play, marina's father believes her to bed dead and when restored to him it's seen as a miracle, to Eliot this was one of the finest moments in literature.

The epigraph at the beginning are the words of Hercules when he comes out of the madness in which he killed his wife and children.

Beautiful images of nature are recollected by the father as he considers the return of his daughter.
The hardsher images associated wit sin, evaporate in the same beauty too.
The father is prepared to give his life for hers, this is one of Eliot's most sentimental poems out of the "Selected Poems"

It is more lyrical and rythmical than his others; fluctuationg rhythms and rhyming echoes come and go to parallel with the to-and-fro of the wondering feelins of the father who is the speaker.


Thank you Ms W :) saved me! my computer doesnt seem to let me copy or paste things
In reference to Yeats poems, i persoanlly think "A Prayer for My Daughter" would be perfect to compare their (Eliot and Yeat's) views on parenting, love, over protective qualities of fathers. - Kitty