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  1. #1

    Default Poetic Inspiration

    We haven't had a poetry thread in a while, so perhaps it's time again. While finishing NJ the other day, I was reminded of this beautiful and familiar work of Robert Frost:


    IMG_0397.jpg

    The Road Less Traveled

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.












    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  2. #2
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    Anything by Mary Oliver, pretty much:

    https://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/maryoliver.html

    Also a fan of William Waltz, whose book "Adventures in the Lost Interiors of America" is totally worth the $3 or $4 you'd probably pay on Amazon.

    My favorite is this one:
    The woods walked through us and left a trail. We followed, down a street, over a hill, across a stream and a field, and then through a wood where we came upon a thicket rich with cricketsong and morning thorn. We peeled back the pricks and moved like herons through the reeds until an opening and then the prairie and across we saw a flock of silhouettes in a colossal crown. We climbed the wild tree and never came down.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  3. #3
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    I first posted a poem I wrote over the past week, following a memorable hike in the Cohutta Wilderness Area.

    Then I thought, "You can't follow Robert Frost." So I omitted mine.

    "The Road Not Taken" was the first poem I memorized, back in 6th grade in 1972. No doubt 50% of American schoolchildren might have done the same.

  4. #4

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    The Road Less Traveled (SPOILER ALERT)
    .
    .
    .
    I'm a long time fan of Frost. Used to carry a paperback copy of his complete works in my pack on most every trip. Even named my web site after a phrase from this poem. Then I discovered something that I'm not sure fans of this poem want to know. It seems this was written not as an homage to the importance of choosing paths or walking down them. No, it was apparently written to poke gentle fun at an acquaintance who thought that way. Which path or whether we walk them aren't as important as where we stand now, so don't waste your time patting yourself on the back for where you've been.

    Go. Be. Perhaps most importantly, when you get done, don't fill yourself with self importance over having done so. It is the being there in that yellowed wood that matters, not the talking about it later.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
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  5. #5
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    I have two that I like:






    We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
    In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
    We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
    Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
    And he whose heart beats quickest lives the longest:
    Lives in one hour more than in years do some
    Whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their veins.
    Life's but a means unto an end; that end,
    Beginning, mean, and end to all things—God.
    The dead have all the glory of the world.

    - Philip James Bailey

  6. #6
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    The second:
    Swimming

    I’ve learnt to swim on dry land. It turns out to be more practical than doing it in the water. There is no fear of sinking, for one is already on the bottom, and by the same token, one is drowned beforehand. It also avoids having to be fished out by the light of a lantern or in the dazzling clarity of a beautiful day. Finally, the absence of water keeps one from swelling up.

    I won’t deny that swimming on dry land is somewhat agonizing. At first sight one would be reminded of death throes. Nevertheless, this is different: at the same time it is agonizing, one is quite alive, quite alert, listening to the music entering through the window and watching the worm crawl across the floor.

    At first my friends criticized this decision. They fled from my glances and sobbed in the corners. Happily, the crisis is past. Now they know that I am comfortable swimming on dry land. I sink my hands into the marble tiles and offer them a tiny fish that I catch in the submarine depths.

    - by Virgilio Piñera

  7. #7
    Garlic
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    To bring things down a notch, this is an original Limerick I wrote for my wife. It was a stressful morning in the Sierra Nevada on our PCT hike...

    Up high on the pass named Guyot
    GreasePot climbed on through the snow.
    The way wasn't clear
    So she said with some fear
    I'd rather be way down below.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    The Road Less Traveled (SPOILER ALERT)
    .
    .
    .
    I'm a long time fan of Frost. Used to carry a paperback copy of his complete works in my pack on most every trip. Even named my web site after a phrase from this poem. Then I discovered something that I'm not sure fans of this poem want to know. It seems this was written not as an homage to the importance of choosing paths or walking down them. No, it was apparently written to poke gentle fun at an acquaintance who thought that way. Which path or whether we walk them aren't as important as where we stand now, so don't waste your time patting yourself on the back for where you've been.

    Go. Be. Perhaps most importantly, when you get done, don't fill yourself with self importance over having done so. It is the being there in that yellowed wood that matters, not the talking about it later.
    I'm from NH, it was mandatory that every school child analyzed that poem until it was dead. Both paths were equal, don't glamorize your life choices in hindsight. Don't lend weight to your decisions being the correct one, just because it's the choice you made. The lovely woods imagery is a bonus.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    I first posted a poem I wrote over the past week, following a memorable hike in the Cohutta Wilderness Area.
    Then I thought, "You can't follow Robert Frost." So I omitted mine.
    Please post your own.....Whom among us is Robert Frost? RYOP (recite your own poem)
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  10. #10
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    I wrote this a few months ago, following a ridgetop hike on the one clear day amidst a long rainy spell:

    In February


    I walked a line in the sky,
    straight as a vapor trail.
    No matter that it curved
    and dipped and rose,
    tracking Tatum Lead’s
    narrow backbone.
    To my right and left,
    the mountain dropped
    through hardwood cove
    and splashing draw.
    Only the path ahead
    kept me grounded
    so that I didn’t
    walk into the blue.

  11. #11

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    Yarr, this thread be nice,
    As clean and fun as beans and rice
    But seriously it takes the cake
    And makes me want to go hiking. Yarr.

  12. #12
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    Wrote this one morning after a wonderful night in the woods.

    Natures Lullaby
    By Allen Bishop

    The oscillating buzz of the cicada
    Sweeps back and forth through the trees
    The squeaky hinge chirp of the crickets
    Stops quickly with the slightest sound
    A bellowing choir of frogs
    Down the hill on the ponds edge
    And the long mournful cry of the loon
    Waiting for his mates reply
    Rustling of leaves as a mouse makes her way
    Searching for her dinner
    Hoot! Hoot, hoot; hoot! Of the great horned owl
    Makes the forest suddenly quieter
    Then steadily the woodland chorus wave
    Begins to rise again
    This is nature’s perfect lullaby
    A blessing from the one true God and creator
    Sleep peaceful sleep,
    Sleep peaceful sleep
    "You have brains in your head/You have feet in your shoes/You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

  13. #13
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    After an afternoon walk...

    Winter Walk
    By Allen Bishop

    The woods in winter
    Seem devoid of sound
    But stand at the edge
    Quietly and listen

    “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee” is the call
    Then a soft tap, tap, tap
    The flutter of from a group of sparrows
    Moving from ground to bush

    Now step in a few steps
    And hear what’s revealed
    A scratching high in the trees
    As two red squirrels play

    They stop upon your invasion
    Scolding from separate perches
    Joined by a raucous jay
    Sounding alarm then flying off

    Moving further thru the wood
    Snow crunching with each step
    A grouse, flushes at your feet
    Your heart now beating like a drum

    Slowly the “silence” returns
    Creaking of the trees in the wind
    Pop and groan down at the lake
    As winter makes more ice

    Crows noisily come to roost
    As the sun nears the horizon
    A wonderful walk in the winter wood
    With cold clean air to clear the head
    "You have brains in your head/You have feet in your shoes/You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

  14. #14
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    ​Very nice
    "You have brains in your head/You have feet in your shoes/You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

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