So recently I mentioned in my One Lovely Blogger Award post that I have a tattoo of my favourite poem. Now not the whole thing, that would be agony and I’m not sure I’d have enough skin for it! It is just the title and a bird flying of from it. I wanted to share the poem with you and my feelings on it. It feels right with the count down to our honeymoon nearly here!
As you set out on the way to Ithaca
hope that the road is a long one,
filled with adventures, filled with understanding.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
Poseidon in his anger: do not fear them,
you’ll never come across them on your way
as long as your mind stays aloft, and a choice
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
savage Poseidon; you’ll not encounter them
unless you carry them within your soul,
unless your soul sets them up before you.
Hope that the road is a long one.
Many may the summer mornings be
when—with what pleasure, with what joy—
you first put in to harbors new to your eyes;
may you stop at Phoenician trading posts
and there acquire fine goods:
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and heady perfumes of every kind:
as many heady perfumes as you can.
To many Egyptian cities may you go
so you may learn, and go on learning, from their sages.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind;
to reach her is your destiny.
But do not rush your journey in the least.
Better that it last for many years;
that you drop anchor at the island an old man,
rich with all you’ve gotten on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave to you the beautiful journey;
without her you’d not have set upon the road.
But she has nothing left to give you any more.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca did not deceive you.
As wise as you’ll have become, with so much experience,
you’ll have understood, by then, what these Ithacas mean.
Translated by Daniel Mendelssohn and found in full here
Have you heard of this poem?
I came across this poem when I was in secondary school. My english teacher gave it to us in our final year. It wasn’t on the syllabus I don’t think but it seemed apt for the time / age of us. 17 years old, getting ready to head out into the big bad world. I like to think he gave it to us to us as a way to say you’re not alone, everyone else has been in the same boat.
At the time I think I needed it. The whole stop waiting to get there and enjoy how you’re getting their mentality. Over the years it has popped back into my mind. It’s always helped ground me. Calmed me…. Made me stop and breathe a minute. Every time I read it I take something new from it. Just what I need at that given moment.
After Uni I wanted to get a tattoo to mark this event and all I could think of was this. Ever since, it’s been something I look at with happiness.
This last 18 months myself and himself have had so many things to look forward to. Count downs left right and centre in our household let me tell ya! Weddings, babies, birthdays, anniversaries. All moments to account for time passing. All have come and gone by in the blink of an eye. It just shows you that the time will pass, that’s a given. So stop counting down the days and enjoy them! The build up to these events is just as enjoyable if not more. They last longer than the event most times 🙂
Easier said than done alright but something to keep in mind!
I do have another tattoo but that’s a story for another day 🙂 I’m also itching for another one so keep tuned for that. Hopefully sooner rather than later!
If you haven’t already heard of this poem, I’m glad I could share it with you. If you knew if already, great taste!
Whats your favourite poem? One that speaks to you on a number of levels? I would love to hear from you!
Lots of Love,