NaPoWriMo Day 30:

“And now our final (and still optional) prompt!  Find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite. For example, you might turn “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “I won’t contrast you with a winter’s night.”

Don’t get me wrong: the subject of my tinkering below is one of my all-time favourites.  It has almost unbearable pathos. and a dire sense of loss pervades it.  Interesting, though, to see how it can be  lightened up.  My aim has been to reverse only the words needed to give a meaning opposite to that of the original.


Break, Break, Break
By  Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Break, break, break,

         On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!

And I would that my tongue could utter

         The thoughts that arise in me.


O, well for the fisherman’s boy,

         That he shouts with his sister at play!

O, well for the sailor lad,

         That he sings in his boat on the bay!


And the stately ships go on

         To their haven under the hill;

But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,

         And the sound of a voice that is still!


Break, break, break

         At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!

But the tender grace of a day that is dead

         Will never come back to me.



Mend, mend, mend,

         On thy golden sands, O Sea!

And rejoice that my tongue may utter

         The thoughts that arise in me.


O, ill for the fisherman’s boy,

         That he weeps with his sister at play!

O, ill for the sailor lad,

         That he mopes in his boat on the bay!


And the dancing ships set out

         From their haven under the hill;

Rejoice there’s the touch of a present hand,

         And the sound of a voice with me still!


Mend, mend, mend

         To the head of thy beach, O Sea!

And the tender grace of a day that is past

         Will always come back to me.


Well, that’s it.  Poem 30 of 30 poems in 30 days.




Today has seen elder granddaughter attain the grand (-daughter) old age of five whole years.  This has meant that I have spent all the time I could with her.  I believe she had a wonderful day. Highlights will follow – but not in rhyme!

 © Colonialist April 2013 (WordPress)



About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Challenge, Grandchildren, Poems, Really Awful Rhyme and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Marco says:

    Happy birthday R – hope you had a good one!

    30 poems in 30 days? Wow, Col you have been busy,

    If the sea should mend, you reckon it will spit out ship wrecks and their lost treasures? Worth wondering…


  2. 68ghia says:

    Congrats Col!!!
    And many happy (belated) wishes to the young lady 😉


  3. adeeyoyo says:

    I love the cat-T! Happy Birthday, R! I’m a bit late, but I hope you had a good time. 🙂


  4. gipsika says:

    Btw I’ve just discovered your “Rills and Cascades” and it’s incredible! I already knew the Dargle Waltz and the Birdcall Nocturne (was actually looking for that one), I’m astonished at the “Rills” piece. It has shades of Schumann with his otherworldly concepts, and Schubert (if you know his piano works), and in places of Bach’s “Art of the Fugue”. Not an easy piece to play either. Those runs (ok I know they are midi but) I could imagine it would take someone like Jeno Jando to get them smooth! Amazing music.


    • colonialist says:

      Thrilled (of course) at the lovely reaction! One gets so used to nobody noticing.
      This is one of the earlier pieces I actually worked up on the piano before I was capable of writing notation, so the runs etc are easier than they sound. They HAD to be, for me to play them!


      • gipsika says:

        That’s you playing them? Gosh, now I’m really impressed!
        Considered publishing the sheet music for these pieces?


        • colonialist says:

          I certainly couldn’t play it now! Too rusty.
          Everything I have written is ready for a proof print/PDF if required. Some editing would probably be needed for where I haven’t followed the rules on what should be shown as sharps rather than flats, and that sort of thing.


  5. gipsika says:

    Well done with the poem! And true to your nature, with a happy ending! 🙂

    Can’t believe it, little R already 5! It was just yesterday she was so small and you got the honour of becoming her nanmps. Give her my love and a very happy birthday.


  6. Happy 5th Birthday to young R – wow, time does fly.


  7. cobbies69 says:

    Very clever and well done and liked both.. thanks 🙂


  8. Sonel says:

    Love your version much more Col. Well done and Happy Birthday wishes and kisses to R. She is so adorable! I am sure she is going to be spoiled rotten today. Great shot of her. Have fun! *big hugs*


  9. newsferret says:

    Congrats with R’s big day.


  10. nrhatch says:

    Happy Birthday, R!
    And congratulations, Col!


  11. Kathie says:

    Colonist, I am glad you had fun with the poem and with your GRAND-grandaughter!


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