Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Literature: When

Almost unbelievably, we are battening down the hatches here at chez Pauline in anticipation of 100 mile per hour winds and hurricane-like conditions. So, in the interest of time, a flashback post today from August of 2011. Enjoy, and I'll be back when the storm has blown over:

Historically, sailors have felt free of a myriad of ills once they were clear of land.  While the sea may hold its own dangers, nothing there was untenable. A sailor can deal with things at sea; by land he is often quite literally a fish out of water. Thomas Flemming Day understood that thoroughly and his poem When reflects that understanding. When I read it, which is frequently, I think not only of my own love for the sea but of the generations before me who shared that delight.

When western winds are blowing soft
Across the Island Sound;
When every sail that draw aloft,
Is swollen true and round.
When yellow shores along the lee,
Slope upward to the sky;
When opal bright the land and sea,
In changeful contact lie;
When idle yachts at anchor swim,
Above the phantom shape;
When spires of canvas dot the rim, 
Which curves from cape to cape.
When seaweed strewn the ebbing tide,
Pours eastward to the main;
When clumsy coasters side by side,
Tack in and out again.
When such a day is mine to live, 
What has the world beyond to give?

Stay safe out there Brethren. I will return.

Header: Lighthouse by Chrystal Chan via American Gallery


Timmy! said...

Stay safe, Pauline. I will be home soon.

btw, that is one funky painting at the header todday... just saying.

Pauline said...

We've brought in all the wind chimes, brooms, gardening tools, etc. Now on to the big stuff...

I don't know; I kinda like that painting.

Rick said...

Hope you're ok over there Pauline - while you're securing for foul weather, might I also recommend Kipling's "Harp Song of the Dane Women". It's also a haunting poem.

Pauline said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Rick.

We're doing well here after a bad night. Our boiler is leaking a bit and power was down for close to twelve hours but we still have a roof and none of the fallen trees that literally litter our neighborhood hit anyone's house. No radiation today as the power was out at the hospital, too.

Highest gusts were clocked on the upper hillside at 130 MPH. We're very, very lucky.

Pauline said...

Also, you can find some great pictures of some of the wind damage here in Anchorage at the Anchorage Daily News website: