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Showing posts with label poem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poem. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Different roads

As I get older, I must think about things more. Often I wonder what life would have been like had I taken a different fork in the road: gone to a different university, done that PhD, taken a different job, not had children, married someone else, taken the job offer in California and so on. I expect everyone wonders this sort of thing. In a multiverse, maybe we do follow all possibilities but we are not aware of them. I often wonder.

See http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html .

Saturday, 6 October 2012

On Dover Beach

A friend of mine just posted a photo from Dover beach the night before he rows a gig, with others, across to France. I wish him luck!  It put me in mind of Matthew Arnold's poem "On Dover Beach" in which he reflects on life, faith and a world of broken dreams. I had forgotten that the phrase "sea of faith" came from this poem.
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago

Heard it on the Agaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true

To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.