Found poetry: Charleston

Carla McGill over at has posted a lovely piece in appreciation of Pat Conroy, who passed away a few days ago at his home in South Carolina. She quotes a passage from his 2009 novel, South of Broad. The language put me in mind of a poem, and I could not resist the urge to shape it as such.


I carry the delicate porcelain beauty of Charleston like the hinged
shell of some soft-tissued mollusk. My soul is peninsula-shaped and
and river-swollen. The high tides of the city flood my consciousness
each day, subject to the whims and harmonies of full moons
rising out of the Atlantic. I grow calm when I see the ranks of palmetto trees
pulling guard duty on the banks of Colonial Lake or hear the bells of St.
        Michael’s calling
cadence in the cicada-filled trees along Meeting Street. Deep in my bones, I knew
early that I was one of those incorrigible creatures known as Charlestonians.

— Pat Conroy, South of Broad, p. 1


4 responses to “Found poetry: Charleston

  1. Thanks for the post! The piece does sound like a poem, and yet it is the poetic prose of Conroy’s first page of the novel. Much of his prose becomes poetic in that novel and in others that he wrote. I don’t think he could help it!

  2. I love the fact that you shaped it into a poem! Love the effect of it!

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