Wary of recklessness
In thrall to fear of risk
Unwilling to abandon
The certainty of shore
Unsure of uncertainty
One will not travel far
That is the one thing
One may be sure of
Meet your family.
Here is your brother Andyet;
Your sister Maybe.
Your cousin Alltheanswers’s
Not here yet. Her plane’s delayed.
DOVER BEACH – Matthew Arnold (Published 1867)
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
DOVER BEACH – The Fugs (Released 1967)
To find strength and comfort in uncertainty
Is the reward for an earnest searching
Beyond the generally agreed upon
And thenceforth universally decreed
Or at least at times
Do I live
In some hell
That I myself have dreamed up?
Shall I ever know?
View it a terrifying
Spawn of the Devil
Fearful of drowning
Cling to some lifebuoy
THE BIRD AND THE WANDERER (A Shadorma)
Hark that bird
Perched for a moment
Could it be
Me he sweetly addresses?
Will he call once more?
Hold my breath
Release it again
Sigh, walk on
Down the path
Stride after stride unfolding
An unsure future
WELCOME TO THIS ATOMIC WORLD
Events pass us by
In a particular way
And sometimes they wave