Posts tagged #poem

A Fragment

Nessmuk

Nessmuk

A little Nesmuk gold as summer kicks into full force. This is from his excellent poetry book, "Forest Runes."

Oh, leave this chase for place or gold, Through legal quips and tangles, Which makes young eyes grow hard and cold, With crowsfeet at the angles.

The miser’s hoard but pays his board, With meager clothes and bedding, While oft he finds a golden road, Exceedingly hard sledding.

Then come, ye dwellers of the town, From shop, and lane, and alley, To where a river sparkles down, A hemlock shaded valley.

Take from your life one week of strife, And add a week of leisure, That memory may some future day, Fall back upon with pleasure.
— Nessmuk - Forest Runes, 1887

If that doesn't make you want to escape the big smoke and get out into the woods I don't know what will.

Posted on July 8, 2013 and filed under Quote.

Walt Whitman - Song of the Open Road

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

I'm a little embarrassed it has taken me this long to quote Walt Whitman, this is an excerpt is from "Song of the open Road" self published in Leaves of Grass, 1855. What an opening, it perfectly captures the giddy expectations and desires one gets when embarking on a grand journey. Enjoy.

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.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road.
— Walt Whitman - Song of the Open Road, 1855
Posted on July 23, 2012 and filed under Hero, Quote.

The Call of the Wild – Robert W. Service

Robert W, Service's Cabin

Robert W, Service's Cabin

It doesn't really get much better than this.

Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there’s nothing else to gaze on, Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore, Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon, Black canyons where the rapids rip and roar? Have you swept the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it, Searched the Vastness for a something you have lost? 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.

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sagebrush desolation, The bunch-grass levels where the cattle graze? Have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of all creation, And learned to know the desert’s little ways? Have you camped upon the foothills, have you galloped o’er the ranges, Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through and through? Have you chummed up with the mesa? Do you know its moods and changes? Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

Have you known the Great White Silence, not a snow-gemmed twig aquiver? (Eternal truths that shame our soothing lies). Have you broken trail on snowshoes? mushed your huskies up the river, Dared the unknown, led the way, and clutched the prize? Have you marked the map’s void spaces, mingled with the mongrel races, Felt the savage strength of brute in every thew? And though grim as hell the worst is, can you round it off with curses? Then hearken to the Wild — it’s wanting you.

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down, yet grasped at glory, Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole? “Done things” just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story, Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul? Have you seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders? (You’ll never hear it in the family pew). The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things — Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching, They have soaked you in convention through and through; They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching — But can’t you hear the Wild? — it’s calling you. Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us; Let us journey to a lonely land I know. 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 W. Service - Spell of the Yukon and other verses, 1916

If that doesn't have you reaching for a pack and your boots I don't know what will.

Posted on February 6, 2012 and filed under Quote.