Those about to die young
the insane, the criminal
they encourage them all
to write poetry
From The Epigrams of Martial, tr. Laurie Duggan (Scripsi 1989)
I heard the voice of the crane
calling loudly, calling men to the plough.
And it struck my heart black
that others hold my fair-flowering fields.
Theognis, c 550 BC, in exile
Continue reading Exile
Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey reminded us of Tennyson’s marvellous poem Ulysses. Here are the closing lines:
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Just listen to the meter of that last line, the three heavy stresses falling on not to yield. Magnificent.
You can read the whole thing here:
Image: Wikimedia Commons
When I was young
and walked alone,
alone I lost my way.
I felt rich
when I found company.
Man delights in man.
from Havalmal the Icelandic Tao.
While Gert was pensively resting in Downward Dog the other day, this little poem by Sir Walter Raleigh came to mind: Continue reading Life ( Sir Walter Raleigh)