18/06/2009

...CATCH THE WINDS OF DESTINY WHEREVER THEY DRIVE THE BOAT

Poetry is one of my favourite shelters to reflect, meditate, listen carefully to the deep sound of life...

Last night I was working on some of my students' papers: they are preparing their interdisciplinary essays for their final exams, we call them "tesine" or "percorsi". The school leaving examinations will start next week, on 25th June. They are all very anxious ( me too!) because they will be also examined by 4 external teachers and will have to do very difficult tests coming from the Ministery of Education. For their oral examination, they can usually choose a topic and then try to link as many subjects as they can to it. They are writing very interesting essays and choosing very beautiful literary works. So, last night, I bumped into GEORGE GRAY - a very grey person indeed in his life - in one of their essays. I like these lines very much and often read them to my students. They are taken from SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY (I started this blog with a poem from this collection. Do you want to have look? HERE) by Edgar Lee Masters. The poem can be connected to Horace's idea of "seize the day".


In Spoon River all the characters speak after death - but they are so vividly alive! -leaving to all of us their special will: precious teachings to fully appreciate life.


George Gray


I have studied many times

The marble which was chiseled for me—

A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.

In truth it pictures not my destination

But my life.



For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;

Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;

Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.

Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.

And now I know that we must lift the sail

And catch the winds of destiny

Wherever they drive the boat.

To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,

But life without meaning is the torture

Of restlessness and vague desire—

It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.


SO LET'S TRY TO BE LIKE THIS ...


AND NOT LIKE THIS ....


HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!! MG

6 comments:

Mo said...

Another blogger brought this site to my attention, http://ringpoem.com/ thought you might like to take a look.

dyanna said...

Mi piace il tuo blog.I l 'attesa per il nuovo post.

London Belle said...

I think the last lines fantastic! Poetry I just find it so hard to read and get into - its a special skill. I own one poetry book by Carol Ann Duffy (Britain's poet laureate) the world's wife. and I need to buy Christina Rossetti's poems (I studied one of hers at uni in my victorian class).
xx

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Mo
Thanks a lot! I'll have a look.
@dyanna
You're welcome! Dove hai imparato l'italiano?
@London Belle
Hello, Belle! I've just got a few minutes' break then I have to re-start writing boring charts and forms (stuff for my students' next exams). But I wanted to thank you for make me discover a new poet, I didn't know Carol Ann Duffy. I'll search the Net to discover more about her. And of course I read and studied Christina Rossetti at uni, too! (Uni?)
Cheers and thanks for dropping by to all of you!

Elvira said...

"A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are built for." John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928

Beautiful post, Maria Grazia!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@,Perfect comment Elvira!
Abrazos