Friday, February 05, 2016

Poetry Friday: Travel

I'm leaving on a trip today (going to visit my daughter, hurray!), so I have been thinking about travel.  Here's Elizabeth Bishop on the subject.

Questions of Travel
Elizabeth Bishop


Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.

Here's the rest of the poem.

I'm not anticipating wishing I had stayed at home, though I am expecting to get quite cold.  It's a little more usual to head south for Carnival than north, but I'm dreaming of a white Mardi Gras.

Miss Rumphius has today's roundup.


Irene Latham said...

A white Mardi Gras. With your daughter. Yay! Wishing you many folded sunsets, Ruth! xo

Molly Hogan said...

Enjoy safe travels! Thanks for posting this Elizabeth Bishop poem. I'm heading off on a trip next weekend and will carry her words and thoughts with me.

Tabatha said...

I am excited to be going to see my daughter in a week, and hoping the weather cooperates. How DOES Elizabeth Bishop DO it? That first stanza, oh my gosh. And "one more folded sunset, still quite warm?" So much to ponder. Enjoy your trip!

Tara said...

Always loved this poem, Ruth! Safe travels - happy Mardi Gras!

Mary Lee said...

I've never been the mother, only the daughter, but I know the joy I see in mom's face when I visit. Your daughter will see that joy, I'm sure!

GatheringBooks said...

Those first three lines:
"Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?"
fully captured how I feel whenever I travel.
While I love visiting new places like everyone else, I call myself a reluctant traveler - I would be just as satisfied staying home and reading my books.

Safe travels, dear Ruth!