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Long journeys wear me out/ But I can't live without it - The Ex-Communicator

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June 4th, 2009

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10:13 am - Long journeys wear me out/ But I can't live without it
I'm performing in 'What a Load of Laureates' tonight (Earlsdon Cottage - 7.30-9.30). I volunteered to read a Tennyson poem, and I have decided to read the first part of Ulysses. Of my own work I thought I should read my poem about Ted Hughes.


It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

Tennyson wrote this a couple of weeks after the death of Arthur Hallam. I think it's got some great lines in it, but the one I love most is 'I am a part of all that I have met'.

BTW do you think Hyades is pronounced HIGH -a- DEEZ? Not that anyone there will be too critical I think.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 4th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
I have just been marking exams on this poem! I think it is awesome.

(Yes, it is pronounced high-a-deez. More of an accent on the HIGH than the deez.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 4th, 2009 10:22 am (UTC)
No kidding. I love it too. I hope your students appreciated it.
[User Picture]
Date:June 4th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
Wow. all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world
pretty much knocks my socks off.

Hope your reading goes (or went, now) well!
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC)
Yes. It went very well. The room was packed, in fact, which amazed me.
[User Picture]
Date:June 4th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Forgot to say - did you know about Gawain and the Green Knight on BBC Four tonight?

[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)
I saw that it was on - had to miss it because of this event - but I'll try to catch it on that watch again thing the BBC do.
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)
There are two more broadcasts on Monday at 00.35 (ie Sunday night) and the following Saturday at 00.25 (ie next Friday night).
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)
Thansk I'll definiely try to catch those
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2009 10:33 am (UTC)
I'd better set it to record next time - I was watching the late night showing live and then fell asleep just when he was going to have his head cut off.

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