A Lyrical Memoir

by Nick Stone


There are heavy doses of salt water in Nick Stone’s memoir of his first eighty-nine years. The ocean is his overall metaphor, but there is so much more, as he takes us from infancy through childhood, career, love in many forms, aging and mortality driven home by a terminal diagnosis.

There is agony when at two he feels displaced by a new baby sister, and again as a stutter “traps his tongue/ in tangled twisted knots”. And there is humor when a surreptitious teenage trip to a burlesque theater goes drastically awry. He shows us the ordeals of the North Atlantic in winter, the beauties of desert sunsets “painted by the brush of God” and of the island he has always loved and to which he returns “to write my farewell poems”. Along the way he finds “intimations of immortality” almost everywhere. And then there are The Winter Poems of confinement, despair, COVID, and George Floyd.

SEAWARD shows us what the vividly recalled memories of a long life can inspire when told in “the language of the gods, the angels/and my grandmother”. Like his beloved ocean, SEAWARD can take you as far and as deep as you will ever want to go.

* * *

As Jorge Luis Borges noted, poetry should “touch us physically, as the presence of the sea does.” Nick Stone’s heartful and tenderly rendered collection certainly touches us powerfully in this way, embracing us with a life fully lived through all the wonders that poetry awakens in us.

—Richard Blanco, 2013 presidential inaugural poet, author of How to Love a Country

The sea—the awesome sea, Nick takes us close enough to feel the misty spray, as he does to the important events of his life. Enjoy these beautiful poems. They are passionate and authentic.

—Dorothea Bisbas, poet laureate, Rancho Mirage, California, author of three books of poetry and editor of thirteen poetry anthologies

A life distilled into the sublime insights that come with living on the edge of the sea.

—Melissa Coleman, author of the memoir This Life Is In Your Hands


Nick Stone resides for most of the year on the small island off the coast of Maine where he spent all his childhood summers and established his lifelong relationship with the sea. After graduating from Princeton with honors in English, he served four years as an officer in the U. S. Coast Guard between Boston and Greenland. Three years later he graduated from Harvard Law School and began the practice of law in Boston. He retired in 2006 and began the serious writing of poetry. FRAGMENTS, Poetry by Nick Stone was published in 2017.


Paperback, 5.5″ x 8.25″
176 pages
ISBN 978-1-954517-28-8