‘The Opal Sea’

By Ella Higginson 1861–1940 Ella Higginson
An inland sea – blue as a sapphire – set
   Within a sparkling, emerald mountain chain
   Where day and night fir-needles sift like rain
Thro’ the voluptuous air. The soft winds fret
The waves, and beat them wantonly to foam.
   The golden distances across the sea
   Are shot with rose and purple. Languorously
The silver seabirds in wide circles roam.
The sun drops slowly down the flaming West
   And flings its rays across to set aglow
   The islands rocking on the cool waves’ crest
And the great glistening domes of snow on snow.
   And thro’ the mist the Olympics flash and float
   Like opals linked around a beating throat.

Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century (University of Iowa Press, 1997)

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Poet Ella Higginson 1861–1940

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Sonnet


Poet and writer Ella Rhoads Higginson was born in Council Grove, Kansas. Her family relocated to Oregon early in Higginson’s childhood, and she grew up in Portland and Oregon City, attending public school while receiving tutoring from renowned educator S.D. Pope. In 1885 she married Russell C. Higginson. The couple settled in Bellingham, Washington, where they opened a drugstore. During this period Higginson began to publish her . . .

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Poems by Ella Higginson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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