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poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Poet8586 (207.27.152.---)
Date: October 24, 2003 05:19PM


I'm fascinated with poems about roads---"The Road Less Traveled," "The House by the Side of the Road," "The Bridge Builder"---and how they relate to choices in life---taking a different path, being "a friend to man," building bridges for the next generation, etc. Anybody know of any more significant poems about roads? (I'm not exactly looking for CHICKENS crossing the road, though those were hilarious!) Thanks for anything you can post or any comments you might have...


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Chesil (---.client.attbi.com)
Date: October 24, 2003 05:58PM

Kipling

The Way Through the Woods

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods . . . .
But there is no road through the woods.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 24, 2003 08:13PM

The Rover

Oh, how good it is to be
Foot-loose and heart-free!
Just my dog and pipe and I, underneath the vast sky;
Trail to try and goal to win, white road and cool inn;
Fields to lure a lad afar, clear spring and still star;
Lilting feet that never tire, green dingle, fagot fire;
None to hurry, none to hold, heather hill and hushed fold;
Nature like a picture book, laughing leaf and bright brook;
Every day a jewel bright, set serenely in the night;
Every night a holy shrine, radiant for a day divine.

Weathered cheek and kindly eye, let the wanderer go by.
Woman-love and wistful heart, let the gipsy one depart.
For the farness and the road are his glory and his goad.
Oh, the lilt of youth and Spring! Eyes laugh and lips sing.

Yea, but it is good to be
Foot-loose and heart-free!

II

Yet how good it is to come
Home at last, home, home!
On the clover swings the bee, overhead's the hale tree;
Sky of turquoise gleams through, yonder glints the lake's blue.
In a hammock let's swing, weary of wandering;
Tired of wild, uncertain lands, strange faces, faint hands.
Has the wondrous world gone cold? Am I growing old, old?
Grey and weary . . . let me dream, glide on the tranquil stream.
Oh, what joyous days I've had, full, fervid, gay, glad!
Yet there comes a subtile change, let the stripling rove, range.
From sweet roving comes sweet rest, after all, home's best.
And if there's a little bit of woman-love with it,
I will count my life content, God-blest and well spent. . . .

Oh but it is good to be
Foot-loose and heart-free!
Yet how good it is to come
Home at last, home, home!




--- Robert Service


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:31AM

Here's my favorite bridge reference:

Paul Simon
Bridge Over Troubled Water

When you´re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all...all...
I´m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can´t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you´re down and out
When you´re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooh)
I´ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I´m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:37AM

This is the mother of all blues songs by Robert Johnson:

Crossroads Blues

From the November 27, 1936 recording session in San Antonio, Texas.

I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above, have mercy now, save poor Bob if you please

Standin' at the crossroads, tried to flag a ride
Whee-hee, I tried to flag a ride
Didn't nobody seem to know me, everybody pass me by

Standin' at the crossroads, risin' sun goin' down
Standin' at the crossroads baby, the risin' sun goin' down
I believe to my soul now, po' Bob is sinkin' down

You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
That I got the crossroad blues this mornin', Lord, baby I'm sinkin' down

I went to the crossroad, mama, I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad, babe, I looked east and west
Lord, I didn't have no sweet woman, ooh well, babe, in my distress

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:40AM

Here's a more traditional take on the theme:

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: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:42AM

How about some Yeats?

The Fool By The RoadSide
by William Butler Yeats

WHEN all works that have
From cradle run to grave
From grave to cradle run instead;
When thoughts that a fool
Has wound upon a spool
Are but loose thread, are but loose thread;
When cradle and spool are past
And I mere shade at last
Coagulate of stuff
Transparent like the wind,
I think that I may find
A faithful love, a faithful love.

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:46AM

There of course would have to be a sad one:

The Bridge of Sighs
by Thomas Hood

One more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve's family—
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurl'd—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran—
Over the brink of it,
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
Thro' muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix'd on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr'd by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.—
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:48AM

I'm glad I found this one:

Bridge, The
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance
Of that lovely night in June,
The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon.

Among the long, black rafters
The wavering shadows lay,
And the current that came from the ocean
Seemed to lift and bear them away;

As, sweeping and eddying through them,
Rose the belated tide,
And, streaming into the moonlight,
The seaweed floated wide.

And like those waters rushing
Among the wooden piers,
A flood of thoughts came o'er me
That filled my eyes with tears.

How often, oh, how often,
In the days that had gone by,
I had stood on that bridge at midnight
And gazed on that wave and sky!

How often, oh, how often,
I had wished that the ebbing tide
Would bear me away on its bosom
O'er the ocean wild and wide!

For my heart was hot and restless,
And my life was full of care,
And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.

But now it has fallen from me,
It is buried in the sea;
And only the sorrow of others
Throws its shadow over me.

Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers,
Like the odor of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.

And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men,
Each bearing his burden of sorrow,
Have crossed the bridge since then.

I see the long procession
Still passing to and fro,
The young heart hot and restless,
And the old subdued and slow!

And forever and forever,
As long as the river flows,
As long as the heart has passions,
As long as life has woes;

The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear,
As the symbol of love in heaven,
And its wavering image here.

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: October 25, 2003 01:52AM

Here's one by Amy Lowell:

Roads

I know a country laced with roads,
They join the hills and they span the brooks,
They weave like a shuttle between broad fields,
And slide discreetly through hidden nooks.
They are canopied like a Persian dome
And carpeted with orient dyes.
They are myriad-voiced, and musical,
And scented with happiest memories.
O Winding roads that I know so well,
Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill!
They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune
Gay as a honey-bee humming in June.
'T is the rhythmic beat of a horse's feet
And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch;
'T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze,
And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch.

A cow in a meadow shakes her bell
And the notes cut sharp through the autumn air,
Each chattering brook bears a fleet of leaves
Their cargo the rainbow, and just now where
The sun splashed bright on the road ahead
A startled rabbit quivered and fled.
O Uphill roads and roads that dip down!
You curl your sun-spattered length along,
And your march is beaten into a song
By the softly ringing hoofs of a horse
And the panting breath of the dogs I love.
The pageant of Autumn follows its course
And the blue sky of Autumn laughs above.

And the song and the country become as one,
I see it as music, I hear it as light;
Prismatic and shimmering, trembling to tone,
The land of desire, my soul's delight.
And always it beats in my listening ears
With the gentle thud of a horse's stride,
With the swift-falling steps of many dogs,
Following, following at my side.
O Roads that journey to fairyland!
Radiant highways whose vistas gleam,
Leading me on, under crimson leaves,
To the opaline gates of the Castles of Dream.

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: October 25, 2003 06:32PM

The Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay
BEAUTIFUL Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
With your numerous arches and pillars in so grand array
And your central girders, which seem to the eye
To be almost towering to the sky.
The greatest wonder of the day,
And a great beautification to the River Tay,
Most beautiful to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
That has caused the Emperor of Brazil to leave
His home far away, incognito in his dress,
And view thee ere he passed along en route to Inverness.


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
The longest of the present day
That has ever crossed o'er a tidal river stream,
Most gigantic to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
Which will cause great rejoicing on the opening day
And hundreds of people will come from far away,
Also the Queen, most gorgeous to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
And prosperity to Provost Cox, who has given
Thirty thousand pounds and upwards away
In helping to erect the Bridge of the Tay,
Most handsome to be seen,
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
I hope that God will protect all passengers
By night and by day,
And that no accident will befall them while crossing
The Bridge of the Silvery Tay,
For that would be most awful to be seen
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay !
And prosperity to Messrs Bouche and Grothe,
The famous engineers of the present day,
Who have succeeded in erecting the Railway
Bridge of the Silvery Tay,
Which stands unequalled to be seen
Near by Dundee and the Magdalen Green.


William McGonagall


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: October 25, 2003 06:35PM

And what happened later :-

The Tay Bridge Disaster
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say-
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."


When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."


But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.


So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sught,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.


So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.


As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.


It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of thSilv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.


William McGonagall


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 26, 2003 06:35AM

A love poem rather than than a road poem, but the title fits:

ON THE ROAD

Our roof was grapes and the broad hands of the vine
as we two drank in the vine-chinky shade
of harvest France;
and wherever the white road led we could not care,
it had brought us there
to the arbour built on a valley side where time,
if time any more existed, was that river
of so profound a current, it at once
both flowed and stayed.

We two. And nothing in the whole world was lacking.
It is later one realizes. I forget
the exact year or what we said. But the place
for a lifetime glows with noon. There are the rustic
table and the benches set; beyond the river
forests as soft as fallen clouds, and in
our wine and eyes I remember other noons.
It is a lot to say, nothing was lacking;
river, sun and leaves, and I am making
words to say ‘grapes’ and ‘her skin’.

Bernard Spencer (1909-1963)


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: allen (193.114.111.---)
Date: October 26, 2003 08:36AM

Philip Larkin: Bridge for the Living. Larkin quite often used bridges as images: see The Whitsun weddings for one.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 27, 2003 01:35PM

Maybe it's the 'ooh's,' or just the fact that the tune's ingrained in my memory, but this one seems to me like an example of song lyrics that don't make good poetry. (I keep making about six syllables out of 'troubled.')

pam


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: JP (---.tnt1.rochelle.il.da.uu.net)
Date: October 27, 2003 03:36PM

She stood on the bridge at midnight,
Her lips were all a quiver.
She gave a cough,
Her leg fell off,
and floated down the river!

Sorry,

JP


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 28, 2003 07:53AM

There's that magnificent epilogue to James Elroy Flecker's play 'Hassan':

Epilogue At the Gate of the Sun, Baghdad, in olden time
THE MERCHANTS (together)
Away, for we are ready to a man!
Our camels sniff the evening and are glad.
Lead on, O Master of the Caravan:
Lead on the Merchant-Princes of Baghdad.
THE CHIEF DRAPER
Have we not Indian carpets dark as wine;
Turbans and sashes, gowns and bows and veils
And broideries of intricate design,
And printed hangings in enormous bales?
THE CHIEF GROCER
We have rose-candy, we have spikenard
Mastic and terebinth and oil and spice,
And such sweet jams meticulously jarred
As God's own Prophet eats in Paradise.
THE PRINCIPAL JEWS
And we have manuscripts in peacock styles
By Ali of Damascus; we have swords
Engraved with storks and apes and crocodiles
And heavy beaten necklaces, for Lords.
THE MASTER OF THE CARAVAN
But you are nothing but a lot of Jews.
THE PRINCIPAL JEWS
Sir, even dogs have daylight, and we pay.
THE MASTER OF THE CARAVAN
But who are ye in rags and rotten shoes,
You dirty-bearded, blocking up the way?
THE PILGRIMS
We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further: it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,
White on a throne or guarded in a cave
There lives a prophet who can understand
Why men were born: but surely we are brave,
Who take the Golden road to Samarkand.
CHIEF MERCHANT
We gnaw the nail of hurry. Master, away
ONE OF THE WOMEN
O turn your eyes to where your children stand.
Is not Baghdad the beautiful ? O stay!
THE MERCHANTS (in chorus)
We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.
AN OLD MAN
Have you not girls and garlands in your homes,
Eunuchs and Syrian boys at your command?
Seek not excess: God hateth him who roams!
THE MERCHANTS (in chorus)
We take the Golden road to Samarkand.
A PILGRIM WITH A BEAUTIFUL VOICE
Sweet to ride forth at evening from the wells
When shadows pass gigantic on the sand,
And softly through the silence beat the bells
Along the Golden Road to Samarkand
A MERCHANT
We travel not for trafficking alone:
By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned:
For lust of knowing what should not be known
We take the Golden road to Samarkand,
THE MASTER OF THE CARAVAN
Open the gate, O watchman of the night!
THE WATCHMAN
Ho, travelers, I open. For what land
Leave you the dim-moon city of delight?
THE MERCHANTS (with a shout)
We take the Golden road to Samarkand.
[The Caravan passes through the gate]
THE WATCHMAN (consoling the women)
What would ye, ladies? It was ever thus.
Men are unwise and curiously planned.
A WOMAN
They have their dreams, and do not think of us
VOICES OF THE CARAVAN (in the distance, singing)
We take the Golden road to Samarkand.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Chesil (---.client.attbi.com)
Date: October 28, 2003 10:02AM

While in the east, how about another Kipling:

Mandalay
by Rudyard Kipling

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat -- jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:
Bloomin' idol made o'mud --
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd --
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "~Kulla-lo-lo!~"
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin' my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an' the ~hathis~ pilin' teak.
Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

But that's all shove be'ind me -- long ago an' fur away,
An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."
No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay . . .

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and --
Law! wot do they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be --
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: October 28, 2003 01:21PM

Poet8586, are you sorry you asked?

Here's one I like. I always FORGET that it's by Frost.

=================================

THE BEARER OF EVIL TIDINGS
--Robert Frost

The bearer of evil tidings,
When he was halfway there,
Remembered that evil tidings
Were a dangerous thing to bear.

So when he came to the parting
Where one road led to the throne
And one went off to the mountains
And into the wild unknown,

He took the one to the mountains.
He ran through the Vale of Cashmere,
He ran through the rhododendrons
Till he came to the land of Pamir.

And there in a precipice valley
A girl of his age he met
Took him home to her bower,
Or he might be running yet

She taught him her tribe's religion:
How ages and ages since
A princess en route from China
To marry a Persian prince

Had been found with child; and her army
Had come to a troubled halt.
And though a god was the father
And nobody else at fault,

It had seemed discreet to remain there
And neither go on nor back.
So they stayed and declared a village
Ther in the land of the Yak.

And the child that came of the princess
Established a royal line,
And his mandates were given heed to
Because he was born divine.

And that was why there were people
On one Himalayan shelf;
And the bearer of evil tidings
Decided to stay there himself.

At least he had this in common
With the race he chose to adopt:
They had both of them had their reasons
For stopping where they had stopped.

As for his evil tidings,
Belshazzar's overthrow,
Why hurry to tell Belshazzar
What soon enough he would know?


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: October 28, 2003 01:23PM

"The Road Goes Ever On And On
Down From The Door Where It Began
Now Far Ahead The Road Is Gone
And I Must Follow If I Can
Persuing It With Eager Feet
Until It Meets Some Larger Way
Where Many A Path and Errand Meet
And Wither Then I Cannot Say"

-- J.R.R. Tolkein


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: JP (---.tnt1.rochelle.il.da.uu.net)
Date: October 28, 2003 03:57PM

DOES the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you waiting at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

Christina Georgina Rossetti


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: October 28, 2003 04:06PM



I am sitting by the side of the road
watching the driver changing wheels.

I do not like the place I am coming from.
I do not like the place I am going to.

So why am I watching the driver
changing wheels
with such impatience?

--Brecht

(That's quoted from memory and I never saw it in print, so please do not quote this without checking a REAL source!--Marian


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 28, 2003 09:56PM

Another by Kipling.

pam

The Long Trail
There's a whisper down the field where the year has shot her yield,
And the ricks stand grey to the sun,
Singing: "Over then, come over, for the bee has quit the clover,
"And your English summer's done."
You have heard the beat of the off-shore wind,
And the thresh of the deep-sea rain;
You have heard the song - how long? how long?
Pull out on the trail again!
Ha' done with the Tents of Shem, dear lass,
We've seen the seasons through,
And it's time to turn the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
Pull out, pull out, on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new!

It's North you may run to the rime-ringed sun
Or South to the blind Horn's hate;
Or East all the way into Mississippi Bay,
Or West to the Golden Gate -
Where the blindest bluffs hold good, dear lass,
And the wildest tales are true,
And the men bulk big on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
And life runs large on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new.

The days are sick and cold, and the skies are grey and old
And the twice-breathed airs blow damp;
And I'd sell my tired soul for the bucking beam-sea roll
Of a black Bilbao tramp,
With her load-line over her hatch, dear lass,
And a drunken Dago crew,
And her nose held down on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail
From Cadiz south on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new.

There be triple ways to take, of the eagle or the snake,
Or the way of a man with a maid;
But the sweetest way to me is a ship's upon the sea
In the heel of the North-East Trade.
Can you hear the crash on her brows, dear lass.
And the drum of the racing screw,
As she ships it green on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
As she lifts and 'scends on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new?

See the shaking funnels roar, with the Peter at the fore,
And the fenders grind and heave,
And the derricks clack and grate, as the tackle hooks the crate,
And the fall-rope whines through the sheave;
It's "Gang-plank up and in," dear lass,
It's "Hawsers warp her through!"
And it's "All clear aft" on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
We're backing down on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new.

O the mutter overside, when the port-fog holds us tied,
And the sirens hoot their dread,
When foot by foot we creep o'er the hueless, viewless deep
To the sob of the questing lead!
It's down by the Lower Hope, dear lass,
With the Gunfleet Sands in view,
Till the Mouse swings green on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
And the Gull Light lifts on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new.

O the blazing tropic night, when the wake's a welt of light
That holds the hot sky tame,
And the steady fore-foot snores through the planet-powdered floors
Where the scared whale flukes in flame!
Her plates are flaked by the sun, dear lass
And her ropes are taut with the dew,
For we're booming down on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
We're sagging south on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new.

Then home, get her home, where the drunken rollers comb,
And the shouting seas drive by,
And the engines stamp and ring, and the wet bows reel and swing,
And the Southern Cross rides high!
Yes, the old lost stars wheel back, dear lass,
That blaze in the velvet blue.
They're all old friends on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
They're God's own guides on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new.

Fly forward, O my heart, from the Foreland to the Start
We're steaming all too slow,
And it's twenty thousand mile to our little lazy isle
Where the trumpet-orchids blow!
You have heard the call of the off-shore wind
And the voice of the deep-sea rain;
You have heard the song-how long? how long?
Pull out on the trail again!

The Lord knows what we may find, dear lass,
And The Deuce knows we may do
But we're back once more on the old trail, our own trail, the out trail,
We're down, hull-down, on the Long Trail - the trail that is always new!


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: October 29, 2003 04:52AM

Marian's post reminded me of Chris Rea's song 'The Road to Hell':


Stood still on a highway I saw a woman by the side of the road

With a face that I knew like my own
reflected in my window.
Well
she walked up to my quarterlight and she bent down real slow

A fearful pressure paralysed me in my shadows.

She said: Son
what are you doing here?
My fear for you has turned me in my grave.
I said: Mama
I come to the valley of the rich
myself to sell.
She said: Son
this is the road to hell.

On your journey 'cross the wilderness from the desert to the well
You have strayed upon the motorway to hell.

We'll
I'm standing by a river but the water doesn't flow

It boils with every poison you can think of.
Then I'm underneath the streetlights
but the light of joy I know
Scared beyond belief way down in the shadows.

And the perverted fear of violence chokes a smile on every face

And common sense is ringing out the bells.
This ain't no technological breakdown
oh no

this is the road to hell.

And all the roads jam up with credit
and there's nothing you can do

It's all just bits of paper flying away from you.
Look out world
take a good look what comes down here

You must learn these lesson fast and learn it well.
This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway

Oh no
this is the road
this is the road
this is the road to hell.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 29, 2003 08:16AM

There appears to be a reference to a significant choice of roads in the well known chorus from the song 'Loch Lomond':

Oh, ye'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

There's some folklore saying that this song refers to two Scottish soldiers captured in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, one of whom was to be hanged by the English, and the other freed to walk home, and that the 'low road' meant death, and the 'high road' the road back to the highlands; however I have also been told that the 'high road' meant swinging high on the gallows while the 'low road' was the ordinary ground-level path. Don't know which interpretation is correct. It's dubious folklore anyway.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 29, 2003 08:53AM

Here's a contemporary road poem, from the Australian poet, Bruce Dawe:

Drifters

One day soon he’ll tell her it’s time to start packing,
and the kids will yell ‘Truly?’ and get wildly excited for no reason,
and the brown kelpie pup will start dashing about, tripping everyone up,
and she’ll go out to the vegetable-patch and pick all the green tomatoes from the vines,
and notice how the oldest girl is close to tears because she was happy here,
and how the youngest girl is beaming because she wasn’t.
And the first thing she’ll put on the trailer will be the bottling-set she never unpacked from Grovedale,
and when the loaded ute bumps down the drive past the blackberry-canes with their last shrivelled fruit,
she won’t even ask why they’re leaving this time, or where they’re heading for
––she’ll only remember how, when they came here,
she held out her hands bright with berries,
the first of the season, and said:
‘Make a wish, Tom, make a wish.’

[A 'kelpie' is a breed of Australian sheepdog; 'ute' (pron. 'yewt') is an Australian colloquialism for a small utility vehicle - i.e. one designed to carry light goods as well as people]



Post Edited (11-02-03 08:00)


The road before me
Posted by: Henry (195.8.171.---)
Date: October 29, 2003 09:35AM

One from Shakespeare

Ay, now am I in Arden; the more fool I.
When I was at home I was in a better place; but travellers must be content.

As you like it Act 2, Scene 4

and some more from RLS

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

from The Vagabond, Songs of Travel (1896)

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.

Virginibus Puerisque (1881)

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

Travels with a Donkey (1879)


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Chesil (---.client.attbi.com)
Date: October 29, 2003 09:52AM

How about the train?

W H Auden

Night Mail

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers' declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: October 29, 2003 12:08PM

John Creeley :I know a man
Chesterton: Before the Roman came to Rye


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Poet8586 (207.27.152.---)
Date: October 29, 2003 05:27PM


Wow!!! Thanks for all the input, everybody. Lots of good ones!


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: rikki (---.mas.optusnet.com.au)
Date: October 30, 2003 07:26PM

How about footpaths?


Footpaths Cross in the Rice Field

You are horizontal.
I am vertical.
We divide the heavenly bodies
And the four directions between us.
We come from the place of becoming,
Pass by here,
And encounter each other
In this final meeting
In a flooded rice field.

An egret descends on still wings.
We quietly chat about the weather,
And say, 'I'll see you again.'
Quietly make an appointment,
Climb two far apart hillsides,
And look back from the summits.

A pure white feather floats down.
As the feather floats down,
Oh, at that moment
We both hope that happiness
May also be like a white bird,
Quietly descending
We hope -
Even though birds
Are creatures with wings.

Lin Ling.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Tandy (---.muma.nsvl.chcgil24.dsl.att.net)
Date: November 10, 2003 05:52PM

I knew there was a good road poem that hadn't been mentioned. Finally remembered what it was: Poem XIII from "War Is Kind" by Stephen Crane:

The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that none has passed here
In a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: -Les- (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: November 24, 2003 11:46PM

Author: Mainesail (---.cambridge-20rh15-16rt.ma.dial-access.att.net)
Date: 11-24-03 22:24

Here's a late addition: The following is a song from the CD "Day of the Clipper" by the group Schooner Fare. The song is called "Streets of London" and the author's name is Ralph McTell, (Essex Music Int., NY ASCAP) also spelled McTeil on the liner notes (are they still called liner note on a CD?) The CD is published by Outer Green Music Company of Portland, Maine (I just read the thread on copyright and I'm trying to cover everything!)

STREETS OF LONDON by Ralph McTell

Have you seen the old man
down by the closed
down market

Kicking up papers with old
worn out shoes,

In his eyes you see no pride,
And held so loosely by his side,
Yesterday's papers,
yesterday's news

Chorus

And how can you say that
you're lonely,
And say for you the sun
don't shine
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you through the
streets of London,
I'll show you somethin' to make
you change your mind.

Have you seen the old girl who
walks the steets of London,
Dirt in her hair and her clothes
all in rags,
She's got no time for talkin'
She just keeps right on walkin'
Carrying her home in two
carrier bags

Chorus

In the all-night cafe at a
quarter past eleven,
Same old man sitting there all
on his own
Gazing at the world
Past the rim of his teacup
Each tea lasts an hour, then
he wanders on alone

Chorus

Have you seen the old
man down by the
seaman's mission,
Memory fading like the medals
that he wears,
In our winter city
The rain cries little pity,
One more forgotten hero in a
world that doesn't care

Chorus


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: November 25, 2003 03:32AM

It's definitely Ralph McTell not Mc Teil - I saw him sing it last year!


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 25, 2003 02:21PM

Unfortunately so does every busker in the local shopping centres. Could be worse, one year we had a bagpiper, not a very good one either. :-(


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: November 25, 2003 02:39PM

Linda, I recall walking on the Downs near Wye in Kent one Sunday evening and finding a piper standing in the middle of the field playing his bagpipes. When I asked him why he was playing in such a lonely place, he told me that his wife wouldn't let him play at home.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 25, 2003 06:16PM

I can believe it. I knew a player of the Northumbrian small pipes once, they are much more tolerable, you could be in the same street as one, not just the same county.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 25, 2003 07:57PM

The definition of a gentleman, one who can play the pipes but doesn't!


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Donald (---.enga.klte.hu)
Date: February 07, 2005 01:21PM

Does anyone recognize this poem?

Along a lonely road I go,
You in my being, in my heart,
And I in yours, a single part,
Forever two, forever one
Inextricably mingled. On
Along a lonely road I go.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: February 07, 2005 03:02PM

Donald, it's probably the work of an amateur, or an unpublished poet. Go to the source where you found it/heard it and ask them about it.

Les


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-01rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: February 08, 2005 11:36AM

Catchy, though. I also could not locate it, sorry.


Re: poems about roads, bridges, choices?
Posted by: princessDaisy!! (---.ph.ph.cox.net)
Date: February 08, 2005 09:59PM

Imnot comming after all
I have a glod car
its new and clean
Im going to work
I have a child care
Im doing just fine
two things I cant leave behind
I love my life to be free
maybe you'll come visit me
our meeting will soon come
when thee comes hither
we will meet someday
that day will be great
right now the child waits
for the love I have for thee
and always in the arms of love
they shall grow good
I will teach them all royality
Someday youll see us
and you'll smile
when you come see me
here where we are
not there where we are not
so soon but not forever




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