The Poetry of Travelling

 

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Much more than just accumulating information, experiences, sights sounds smells and distance, travelling is about adventure and that sense of adventure is romantic. It appeals to our senses and purest instincts because there is always the understanding of being set free from the things that constrain daily life, and being released to find ourselves or to find something that is a trigger of our feelings. We may start with the poetry of travelling when we are very young with

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey,
and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

But later when we realize how travel gives us instant choices to make we start to understand what is probably the most famous poem, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Poem that most sums up for me the Romance, mystery and excitements of new destinations is John Masefield’s “Cargoes”:

QUINQUIREME of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

There are loads of poems and quotes, writers and poets and you make your choice, but there is no doubt that travel stirs the poetic juices in us.

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