Poetry is not something that many people care about. I won’t lie to you that I read it often. I don’t, I feel much better with crime stories, mysteries, shooting, fighting and heroes. Still, there are some poems that stay with me for long. Here I’d like to share my choice of travel poems.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference’
Robert Frost The Road Not Taken
Isn’t it a dream of so many of us? To travel off-the-beaten track, to explore, to discover, to get away from all the crowds, all the hustle and bustle of ordinary life? More often than not we travel to experience new things and we believe that distant, remote places are the ones where we understand the world and which will change our attitude to life.
I am not different from so many who think so, and I do admit that the less travelled destinations have been the places that taught me the most.
I’m not a keen poetry reader, but I’ve always enjoyed reading an American writer Robert Frost (1874-1963) and there’s an excerpt from The Death of the Hired Man that I found true:
“Home is the place, where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.”
“I should have called it
Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.”
Robert Frost The Death of the Hired Man
How is home related to travels? I think it’s the place intrinsically tied to travelling, It’s the place that awaits us when we’re far away, place we miss, place we compare to. The place called home makes us decide on the length of travel, on the style of travelling and, I guess, it influences our perception of other places.
Flowers at my mother’s place.
Travellers often say that travelling helps them open their eyes and understand the world better. When far away from home we suddenly begin to notice things that we haven’t paid much attention before. It’s even more so if you travel solo not in the group: you stop trying to come up to the expectations of other people and begin observe the world in you own way.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
You more subtle eye watching
You abroad, and how what meet you
Touches the part of the heart
That lies low at home
John O’Donohue (1956-2008) For the Traveller
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose
Walt Whitman Song of the Open Road
Long time ago, when I was just a beginner traveller I dreamt of places I only heard of, well-known names would be something I wanted to see with my own eyes, other people experiences and their stories motivated me work towards my dreams. Slowly, I ventured further and further.
Have you strung your soul to silence? Then for God’s sake go and do it;
Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost
There’s a whisper on the night wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the wild is calling, calling… let us go.
Robert William Service (1874-1858) The Call of the Wild
One more poem by Robert Service, that perfectly describes some travellers with the strong urge to wander the world:
There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
Robert William Service The Men that don’t Fit In.
And finally, something to listen to. The poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes sung by Loreena McKennitt. It might not have much to do with the topic of travel per se, but I love the mood of the song – a beautiful and tragic, those old poets knew hot to grab your attention with a story! When I’m listening to it all the images conjure up in my mind – and this is what I would like my travel photos to do – tell such stories.
And what about you?
Do you care about poetry? Is there any travel poem you’ve heard and like?