The colour of water

Other people’s words about … the sea

It was my mother who introduced me to one of the most vivid descriptions of the sea I’ve ever read:

The character and life of Sydney are shaped continually and imperceptibly by the fingers of the Harbour, groping across the piers and jetties, clutching deeply into the hills, the water dyed a whole paint-box’s armoury of colour with every breath of air, every shift of light or shade, according to the tide, the clock, the weather and the state of the moon. The water is like silk, like pewter, like blood, like a leopard’s skin, and occasionally merely like water.

Kenneth Slessor



Click here to find out more about Kenneth Slessor. He is most famous for Five Bells, a poem which is moving in its own right but which also, if you are sea-obsessed like me, contains some hauntingly beautiful sea-imagery, particularly in its last stanza.

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