Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Poetry in (/and) motion

Yesterday in "The Weakest Link" one of the questions was: "Which poet wrote the line "Oh I wish I'd looked after me teeth?". Contestant's answer: "Tennyson"! Now, we certainly never studied Pam Ayres at school but we did have to learn several of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poems by heart, such as: The Lady of Shalott, Mariana, Break, Break, Break and The Charge of The Light Brigade. This is also one of his, which could almost apply to the so-called Capital of Europe (though I assume it was written about Paris):

Beautiful city, the centre and crater of European confusion,
O you with your passionate shriek for the rights of an equal humanity,
How often your Re-volution has proven but E-volution
Roll'd again back on itself in the tides of a civic insanity!

I'm fond of poetry, and not only in English, this is one of my favourites by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, from which my blogging name is derived:

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace el camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en el mar.

Traveller, your footprints
are all that create the track;
traveller, there is no road,
as you walk, the track you make.
By walking you make a road
and when you turn to look back,
the path you see stretching behind you
you never again can take.
Traveller, there is no road,
just the trail you leave in your wake.

I discussed poetry today, among other things, over lunch with The Wizard and La Carioca at the Pomo d'Oro. We got onto discussing the strange names of destinations of certain buses in Brussels, like Konkel and Hunderenveld (field of dogs!). There is a bus that goes to Transvaal, where you will find only a rather boring residential district, and not the African veldt, while in Ghent you can take a tram to Moscow! Of course public transport, being among the more mundane concerns of life, tends to inspire verse, not poetry, which brings us back to Pam Ayres - although I don't know that she wrote anything about buses or trams. The verse that comes to mind is the one attributed to one A.D. Godley:

What is this that roareth thus?
Can it be a Motor Bus?
Yes, the smell and hideous hum
Indicant Motorem Bum!
How shall wretches live like us
Cincti Bis Motoribus?
Domine, defende nos
Contra hos Motores Bos!


At 16/12/05 03:00, Blogger Green said...

Oh, I see, so now I understand that "Qaminante" came from Antonio Machado's poem!
It's realy nice poem, I would like to be such a traveller of my life, too. Thank you for his information.


Post a Comment

<< Home