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Homesickness poetry
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 14, 2005 12:27PM

Masefield's 'The West Wind', posted in the 'Help finding poem' thread in Homework Assistance, made me wonder what other good poems there are on the theme of wanting to go home, or idealizing some far away home, or comparing it favourably with the speaker's present situation.

Browning's 'Home Thoughts, From Abroad' is one that springs to mind.

Here's one from Australia:


'Song of the Old Boundary Rider'
(by Vance Palmer 1885-1959)

Fat and full of health are the valleys of the Condamine,
There the yellow maize and the green tobacco grow,
Through the little gardens runs the trailing passion-vine,
And softly to the North the white downs flow.

Here nothing changes, seed-time or harvest-time,
Mulga on the skyline, mulga round the place,
Riding round the fences I hear the bells of bullocks chime,
But homely sounds come rarer than a woman's face.

Lonely is the day and lonely is the firelight,
Lonely is the heart when the trees come creeping near,
When the boobook calls the very dogs are dumb with fright,
And when a voice starts singing it's my own voice that I hear.

Back let me ride to the valley of the Condamine,
There the little homesteads nestle in their green,
Opal where the mists rise, amber where the paddocks shine,
My own things round me and none to come between.


[Mulga is a scrubby tree. The same word is used for the plural, i.e. for the scrub consisting of such trees. A boobook is a species of owl.]

Note inserted by 2nd edit: I see that the Homework Assistance thread containing Masefield's poem which I cross-referenced above has just been renamed 'The Measure of a Man'. Can't say 'here nothing changes' about Emule!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2005 06:09PM by IanB.


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: Tallia (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 14, 2005 05:20PM

"Going Home" by Sara Groves

I’ve been feeling kind of restless
I’ve been feeling out of place
I can hear a distant singing
A song that I can’t write
And it echoes of what I’m always trying to say
There’s a feeling I can’t capture
It’s always just a prayer away
I want to know the ending
Things hoped for but not seen
But I guess that’s the point of hoping anyway
Of going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be home
I’m confined by my senses
To really know what you are like
You are more than I can fathom
And more than I can guess
And more than I can see with you in sight
But I have felt you with my spirit
I have felt you fill this room
And this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home
Going home, I’ll meet you at the table
Going home, I’ll meet you in the air
And you are never too young to think about it
Oh, I cannot wait to be going, to be going home
Face to face, how can it be
Face to face, how can it be
Face to face, how can it be
Cuz this is just an invitation
Just a sample of the whole
And I cannot wait to be going home


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: Linda (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 14, 2005 06:13PM

Those are impressive apostrophies you have there, and not misplaced either.


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 15, 2005 12:43AM

Lachin Y Gair
by George Gordon, Lord Byron

Away, ye gay landscapes, ye garden of roses!
In you let the minions of luxury rove;
Restore me to the rocks, where the snowflake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains,
Round their white summits though elements war;
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.

Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wandered;
My cap was teh bonnet, my cloak was the plaid;
On chieftains long perished my memory pondered,
As daily I strode through the pine-covered glade;
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star;
For fancy was cheered by traditional story,
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.

"Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?"
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices,
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale.
Rouch Loch na Garr while the stormy mist gathers,
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.

"Ill-starred, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?"
Ah! were you destined to die at Culloden,
Victory crowned not your fall with applause:
Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber,
You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar;
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number,
Your deeds on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.

Years have rolled on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
Years must elapse ere I tread you again:
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you,
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar:
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic!
The steep frowning glories of the dark Loch na Garr.

Les


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 15, 2005 02:09AM

South Country, The
by Hilaire Belloc

When I am living in the Midlands
That are sodden and unkind,
I light my lamp in the evening:
My work is left behind;
And the great hills of the South Country
Come back into my mind.

The great hills of the South Country
They stand along the sea;
And it's there walking in the high woods
That I could wish to be,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Walking along with me.

The men that live in North England
I saw them for a day:
Their hearts are set upon the waste fells,
Their skies are fast and grey;
From their castle-walls a man may see
The mountains far away.

The men that live in West England
They see the Severn strong,
A-rolling on rough water brown
Light aspen leaves along.
They have the secret of the Rocks,
And the oldest kind of song.

But the men that live in the South Country
Are the kindest and most wise,
They get their laughter from the loud surf,
And the faith in their happy eyes
Comes surely from our Sister the Spring
When over the sea she flies;
The violets suddenly bloom at her feet,
She blesses us with surprise.

I never get between the pines
But I smell the Sussex air;
Nor I never come on a belt of sand
But my home is there.
And along the sky the line of the Downs
So noble and so bare.

A lost thing could I never find,
Nor a broken thing mend:
And I fear I shall be all alone
When I get towards the end.
Who will there be to comfort me
Or who will be my friend?

I will gather and carefully make my friends
Of the men of the Sussex Weald;
They watch the stars from silent folds,
They stiffly plough the field.
By them and the God of the South Country
My poor soul shall be healed.

If I ever become a rich man,
Or if ever I grow to be old,
I will build a house with deep thatch
To shelter me from the cold,
And there shall the Sussex songs be sung
And the story of Sussex told.

I will hold my house in the high wood
Within a walk of the sea,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Shall sit and drink with me.

Les


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 15, 2005 02:35AM

Into My Own
by Robert Lee Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto th eedge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew--
Only more sure of all I thought was true.

Les


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 15, 2005 11:30AM

Prayer for This House

May nothing evil cross this door,
And may ill fortune never pry
About these windows; may the roar
And rain go by.

Strengthened by faith, these rafters will
Withstand the battring of the storm;
This hearth, through all the world grow chill,
Will keep us warm.

Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
Touching our lips with holy wine,
Till evry casual corner blooms
Into a shine.

Laughter shall drown the raucous shout;
And, though these sheltring wall are thin,
May they be strong to keep hate out
And hold love in.

Louis Untermeyer.


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: ilza (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 18, 2005 01:30PM

Where?
A. S. J. Tessimond (1902-1962)

You are in love with a country
Where people laugh in the sun
And the people are warm as the sunshine and live and move easily
And women with honeycoloured skins and men with no frowns on their faces
Sit on white terraces drinking red wine
While the sea spreads peacock feathers on cinnamon sands
And palms weave sunlight into sheaves of gold
And at night the shadows are indigo velvet
And there is dancing to soft, soft, soft guitars
Played by copper fingers under a froth of stars

Perhaps your country is where you think you will find it.
Or perhaps it has not yet come or perhaps it has gone.
Perhaps it is east of the sun and west of the moon.
Perhaps it is a country called the Hesperides
And Avalon and Atlantis and Eldorado:
A country which Gauguin looked for in Tahiti and Lawrence in Mexico,
And whether they found it only they can say, and they not now.
Perhaps you will find it where you alone can see it,
But if you can see it, though no one else can, it will be there,
It will be yours.
..................

not quite the subject, but I like it


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: ilza (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 18, 2005 01:32PM

again, not the subject, but quite ...

One Art
Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to mater.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! My last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like ( Write it!) like disaster.



Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 18, 2005 06:07PM

Beautiful poems, Ilza. Thanks.

Edit needed to correct the 6th line of EB's.


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 19, 2005 05:05AM

Ilza's Tessimond and Hugh's Untermeyer are both new to me and I really like them. Further, Untermeyer is a new author to me, so I shall look for more of his work. Thanks to you both for posting them.


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 24, 2005 05:58AM



Not in the same league as some of the examples above, but a popular lyric:

HOMEWARD BOUND
(Paul Simon)

Sitting in a railway station, got a ticket for my destination
On a tour of one night stands, my suitcase and guitar in hand
And every stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band
Homeward bound, I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thoughts are straying
Home where my music's playing
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

Every day's an endless stream of cigarettes and magazines
And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
And every stranger's face I see reminds me where I long to be
Homeward bound, I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thoughts are straying
Home where my music's playing
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

Tonight I'll sing my songs again, play the game and pretend
But all my thoughts come back to me in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony, I need someone to comfort me
Homeward bound, I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thoughts are straying
Home where my music's playing
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 24, 2005 02:20PM

Lines Written From Home
by Anne Bront

Though bleak these woods, and damp the ground
With fallen leaves so thickly strown,
And cold the wind that wanders round
With wild and melancholy moan;
There is a friendly roof, I know,
Might shield me from the wintry blast;
There is a fire, whose ruddy glow
Will cheer me for my wanderings past.

And so, though still, where'er I go,
Cold stranger-glances meet my eye;
Though, when my spirit sinks in woe,
Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh;

Though solitude, endured too long,
Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue,
And overclouds my noon of day;

When kindly thoughts, that would have way,
Flow back discouraged to my breast; --
I know there is, though far away,
A home where heart and soul may rest.

Warm hands are there, that, clasped in mine,
The warmer heart will not belie;
While mirth, and truth, and friendship shine
In smiling lip and earnest eye.

The ice that gathers round my heart
May there be thawed; and sweetly, then,
The joys of youth, that now depart,
Will come to cheer my soul again.

Though far I roam, that thought shall be
My hope, my comfort, everywhere;
While such a home remains to me,
My heart shall never know despair!

Les


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 24, 2005 02:23PM

Home-Thoughts, From Abroad
by Robert Browning

I.

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England---now!!

II.

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops---at the bent spray's edge---
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
---Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Les


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 24, 2005 02:26PM

Imitation
by Edgar Allan Poe

A dark unfathomed tide
Of interminable pride -
A mystery, and a dream,
Should my early life seem;
I say that dream was fraught
With a wild and waking thought
Of beings that have been,
Which my spirit hath not seen,
Had I let them pass me by,
With a dreaming eye!
Let none of earth inherit
That vision of my spirit;
Those thoughts I would control,
As a spell upon his soul:
For that bright hope at last
And that light time have past,
And my worldly rest hath gone
With a sigh as it passed on:
I care not though it perish
With a thought I then did cherish.

Les


Re: Homesickness poetry
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: September 24, 2005 02:28PM

At Home
by Christina Georgina Rossetti

When I was dead, my spirit turned
To seek the much-frequented house:
I passed the door, and saw my friends
Feasting beneath green orange boughs;
From hand to hand they pushed the wine,
They sucked the pulp of plum and peach;
They sang, they jested, and they laughed,
For each was loved of each.

I listened to thier honest chat:
Said one: "To-morrow we shall be
Plod plod along the featureless sands,
And coasting miles and miles of sea."
Said one: "Before the turn of tide
We will achieve the eyrie-seat."
Said one: "To-morrow shall be like
To-day, but much more sweet."

"To-morrow," said they, strong with hope,
And dwelt upon the pleasant way:
"To-morrow," cried they, one and all,
While no one spoke of yesterday.
Their life stood full at blessed noon;
I, only I, had passed away:
"To-morrow and to-day," they cried;
I was of yesterday.

I shivered comfortless, but cast
No chill across the table-cloth;
I, all-forgotten, shivered, sad
To stay, and yet to part how loth:
I passed from the familiar room,
I who from love had passed away,
Like the remembrance of a guest
That tarrieth but a day.

Les




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