A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 25 January 2010

Camino Fever

I must go down to the South again, to the lonely road and the sky,
And all I ask is a winding path and a star to see her by;
It´s a long road, it´s a hard road, it´s a strange road to the end,
And all I ask is a loaf of bread and a jug of wine, my friend.

The wind is whistling through the oaks, the larks are singing sweet,
And all I ask is a stranger´s smile and some balm for my aching feet.
How dark the soul in the dead of night! But how bright the morning sun!
And all I ask is a warm bed before the day is done.

I must go down to the South again, the Camino is calling me,
Down to a place of love and grace where the heart beats wild and free,
And all I ask is a rinsed-clean mind, and some clarity of thought,
And a book and a staff and a scallop shell, and to find what it was I sought.

John Masefield wrote reams of poems which are little read today - perhaps deservedly so in most cases. They haven´t really stood the test of time, and are not today´s style at all. But two of his poems I´m rather fond of: Cargoes, which I recall having to learn at school - it´s a dazzling little poem, full of onomatopoeia - and Sea Fever, which I remember my mother used to recite (she was of a romantic turn of mind, and was forever escaping a humdrum existence by immersing herself in a world of novels and poetry). I´ve parodied Sea Fever in the poem above, which I knocked together in my head today as I walked from Mérida to Aljucén. As far as I remember, Sea Fever begins: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, / And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...

(Posted from Aljucén, on the Vía de la Plata, Spain.)


Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you - and thanks for the poem, full of Camino.

con mis oraciones y pensamientos



am said...

Wow! You've walked a long way already. I got out my atlas and am looking to see where you are as you post on your blog.

"...a place of love and grace..."

Rachel Fox said...

They used the sea poem last year in a TV kids poetry reading competition. It was lovely to hear it and it will outlast lots of other trendier poems, I'm sure.

Still jealous of you out there! Suburbia calling...


Anonymous said...

Lovely! I'm reminded why I follow blogs of blokes I may never meet face to face :-)! Thank you...I'll be mumbling this under my breath..till it's my time to go again! Danke! Karin

Susan said...

Hola Solitary Walker!

I've been bitten by the Camino bug and am planning a journey this summer! Found your blog via Johnnie Walkers site and how your musical selections and writing have moved me. I'll travel from La Puy and then perhaps El Salvador, Primitivo and a possible jump to Ingles dependent on time and how the days unfold. Could appreciate your OCD comments! So heres a blowing wind to move you forward, around , and back as you explore new ways on your daily journey. Sending positive insights your way on the via !!
Susan ( a sojourner vicariously following your gypsy spirit on the Via)

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks so much for all your comments. They´re keeping me going!