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giles : surfing poetry, 1911 
John M. Giles : Surfing - a poem, 1911.

Extract from
Giles, John M.: Surfing (a poem).
The Mid-Pacific Magazine
Published by Alexander Hume Ford, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii,
Volume 2, Number 4, October,1911, pages a and b.

An early example of surfing themed poetry - in English, obviously post-dating the ancient Hawaiian legends that have surfing content.
(See Moser: Pacific Passages (2008) Part 1).

Giles' poem follows an except from Byron's Childe Harold, reproduced with a surfing photograph by A. R. Gurrey, on the frontpiece of a previous edition (Volume 2, Number, August,1911).

See Source Documents:
1911 Lord Byron : Childe Harold.

Page a (Inside front cover, page 1?)


The beach gleams white in the sun's strong light,
The ocean's a fathomless blue;
The breakers roar on the reef and shore
And call to me and you.

The water is clear where the great fish sheer
'Tween the coral rocKs below,
And the surf boards ride there side by side,
While the breakers come and go.

It is each for each as we leave the beach,
And nose through the breaking blue;
It is paddle well as we hit the swell
And brea the white crest through.

(Continued on third page of cover)

Page b (inside back cover)

(Continued from second page of cover)

There's a sudden swing, a twist and a fling!
The board points for the shore!
And you fix your eye where the surf flings high,
To fall on the reef aroar.

You watch it leave with a rising heave
Gathering force as it goes;
And you paddle away and you dip and sway
As it near and nearer shows.

Then you flash through space in a whirling race,
And a smother of salt sea spray,
And the sea laughs by and the great bl\1e sKy,
Both call their roundelay.

The warm trade breeze that moves the trees
On the fringed shore ahead,
With lingering kiss and soothing hiss,
Steadies your whirling head.

So it's out to the roar of the spray spumed shore!
Again and still again,
For life is good on your fashioned wood,
And you care or know not pain.

Giles, John M.: Surfing (Poem). 
The Mid-Pacific Magazine 
                    Published by Alexander Hume Ford, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, 
                       Volume 2, Number 4, October,1911, pages A and B.

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home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2011) : John M. Giles : Surfing - a poem, 1911.