Sunday, January 21, 2007

I woke up today with this poem in my mind and so decided to blog it. I like MacNeice a lot I have to say, and maybe I find this one all the more powerful as he wasn't generally a very exhortatory poet..... and if ever there was a poem more directly addressed to disillusioned old Lefties.....

Thalassa by Louis MacNeice

Run out the boat, my broken comrades;
Let the old seaweed crack, the surge
Burgeon oblivious of the last
Embarkation of feckless men,
Let every adverse force converge-
-Here we must needs embark again.

Run up the sail, my heartsick comrades;
Let each horizon tilt and lurch-
-You know the worst: your wills are fickle,
Your values blurred, your hearts impure
And your past life a ruined church-
-But let your poison be your cure.

Put out to sea, ignoble comrades,
Whose record shall be noble yet;
Butting through scarps of moving marble
The narwhal dares us to be free;
By a high star our course is set,
Our end is Life. Put out to sea.

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