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Farewell Poems
Posted by: appgrrl (
Date: December 05, 2003 06:56PM

Does anybody have a good poem about farewells or partings they'd like to share? Especially about friendship. I had a class this semester where I got close to a lot of people, and since we'll all never be in the same class again, I wanted to do something nice for them. Thanks!

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: IanB (
Date: December 06, 2003 06:26PM

Not a poem, but a memorable 'farewell'. The final paragraph from Joseph Conrad's nautical novel 'The Nigger of the Narcissus' (and if anyone objects to that word in the title, I say great literature will outlast today's petty political correctness):

A gone shipmate, like any other man, is gone for ever; and I never saw one of them again. But at times the spring-flood of memory sets with force up the dark River of the Nine Bends. Then on the waters of the forlorn stream drifts a ship -- a shadowy ship manned by a crew of Shades. They pass and make a sign, in a shadowy hall. Haven't we, together and upon the immortal sea, wrung out a meaning from our sinful lives? Good-bye brothers! You were a good crowd. As good a crowd as ever fisted with wild cries the beating canvas of a heavy foresail; or tossing aloft, invisible in the night, gave back yell for yell to a westerly gale.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: December 07, 2003 11:56AM

I don't object to that word Narcissus in the title, personally. As a point of trivia, the shuttle Narcissus that Ripley uses to escape from the Nostromo in the movie Alien was taken from the Conrad novel, in that she brings death aboard with her.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: rschmeec (
Date: December 08, 2003 07:14PM

John Donne's VALEDICTION, FORBIDDING MOURNING is about as good as they come.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: December 08, 2003 07:46PM

(And "Nostromo" is the title of another novel by Conrad.)

DESIDERATA is a nice parting wish for pretty much anyone.

So is Polonius's speech to Laertes in HAMLET, ending "... to thine own self be true."

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: December 10, 2003 07:55AM

Gaelic Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand

some also add:

and may you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you're dead.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: appgrrl (
Date: December 11, 2003 01:29AM

I love that blessing. I'm really into all things Irish, so whenever I had time (which was so, so long ago), I would look up Gaelic blessings and curses and toasts. This is off-subject, I know, but here's one that always makes me laugh:

May those who love us, love us.
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: December 11, 2003 03:58AM

That's a new one to me - and magic! Thanks for posting it.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: December 11, 2003 12:29PM

If you can sing give them Tom Lehrer's "Bright College Days". "sliding down the razor blade of life" is one of the most accurate images ever coined.

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: appgrrl (
Date: December 15, 2003 01:12AM

Haha...that's if I could sing. I think I'll spare them that distinct displeasure. smiling smiley

Re: Farewell Poems
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: December 15, 2003 12:35PM

Lehrer ain't too good at singing either: it's designed for a (hem hem) untutored voice.

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