Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 17: Poetry and planning our next move

When we did the quiz in Wicklow, some people waited outside for an extra ten minutes because they listened at the door and thought I was reciting poetry!!

I took that as a bit of a compliment so I'll just put a bit of my all time favourite poem here. Its from Derek Walcott's 'Omeros' which is a re-write of Homer's 'The Odyssey' but set in Jamaica with Hector and Achilles as fishermen and Helen of Troy as a village girl. What a classic! And he shows he's also in to stillness underlying every journey which is pretty relevant too!

You aint been nowhere, Seven Seas said,
You have seen nothing no matter how far
you may have travelled. Cities with
shadowy spires stitched on a screen -

which the beak of a swift has ravelled and unravelled;
You have learnt no more than
if you stood on that beach watching
the unthreading foam you watched as a youth,

except your skill with one oar; You hear the
salt speech that your father once heard; One
island, and one truth. Your wanderer is a
phantom from the boy's shore.

Mark you, he does not go; he sends his narrator.
He plays tricks with time because there are two
journeys in every odyssey, one on worried water,

the other crouched and motionless, without noise.
For both, the 'I' is a mast; A desk is a raft for one,
foaming with paper, and dipping the beak -

of a pen in its foam, while an actual craft
carries the other to cities where people speak a
different language, or look at him differently,

while the sun rises from the other direction with
its unsettling shadows. But the right journey
is motionless; As the sea moves around an island

that appears to be moving, love moves around the
heart - with encircling salt, and the slow travelling
hand knows it returns to the port from which it must start.

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