Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inspiration

February is a difficult month for me. There is a whisper of spring in the air on a certain days (which certainly keeps me going!) but we are not yet out of the woods for snow and cold. Some of our worst blizzards come in March and I weary of winter pretty quickly (let's be honest... I weary of winter as soon as it gets here). So on these days, the writing of adventure and faraway places are what keeps me going and this is a poem that Maurice shared with me a few years ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and to further your enjoyment, you can have Sean Connery read it aloud to you with some lovely background music.(located at the bottom.) 

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

~~C.P. Cavafy

18 comments:

  1. Lovely poem. Wouldn't it be awesome to see these places for real? Avoid the cyclops, perhaps... :)

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  2. Great pictures! I'm a fellow crusader and new follower. Nice to meet you!

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  3. keeping your thoughts raised high is complicated. Especially on a long journey...

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  4. Wow, that is lovely! Thanks for sharing it. I'm a fellow crusader and I live in Colorado too.

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  5. How lovely. I guess I'm kind of spoiled with the California weather. I didn't realize how much winter affected people's mood.

    A fellow crusader, I am following and looking forward to reading more. =)

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  6. If we keep Ithaka alive in our souls, then even winters will become summer...

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  7. That is a lovely poem. I did Classical studies ( Ancient Greek) at school and really admire their work. And I also wish I was sailing somewhere now, looks very tranquil.

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  8. Lovely entry and thank you for checking out my blog.

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  9. Hi, Danette
    I'm following you and we are in the same group at the Crusade. I love your poem. And I hateFebruary, too. From one extreme to the other. Today is 70 degrees, but tomorrow could easily be 30.

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  10. Hello fellow Group 11 Crusader. Nice to meet you. February is a difficult month for me too. Six family birthdays. Husband, Son, Daughter, Son-in-Law, Future Daughter in law, and Grandson. Not to mention the Spring thing. Looking forward to more interaction as the Crusade proceeds.

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  11. Hi there, fellow crusader! I know what you mean about February. We got to open our windows today for the first time since last fall - heavenly!

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  12. Great post. Fellow crusader stopping by to say hello and now following.

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  13. Gorgeous pictures and prose! Thanks for the follow. Looking forward to crusading with you!

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  14. Lovely! Thank you for the gorgeous poem. And I think my blood pressure came down just looking at your beautiful photos.

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  15. I'm your 100th follower! How exciting. Welcome to the crusade

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  16. I used to have cabin fever in winter, until I started setting out into the deep winter forest. It's great variety from the summer version, but equally inspiring.

    I do it at night, when everything is filled with shadows.

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