In this slender volume of 29 poems Benner Cummings (’51 Speech & Hearing Sci.) pays homage to the romance of surfing. Based upon Cummings’s years as surfing and swimming coach at San Clemente High School, the poems celebrate the beauty, grace, daring, and freedom inherent in the pursuit of surfing—often in terms that equate surfers with mythological figures:
Like the playful sea god Triton,
He arose from out of the sea.
While these verses might lack the polish of a Robinson Jeffers, they nevertheless ring with the authority of Cummings’s deeply felt response to the magic of riding the waves. Perhaps no other lines exemplify that response so well as these from “On a Blue October’s Ocean”:
To have surfed forever
Down the golden trails of the sun.
Seeking out royal adventures,
To ever follow the sun.
To surf beyond the sunset,
Surfing a wild Sulu sea.
Surfing the seas of all the world,
Forever a part of me.