A Letter to England*
Dear Captain Bryce,
I trust your voyage was fruitful and this letter finds you well.
I'm fine and when I last saw Hope she radiated health!
We were dismayed to learn that your return was long delayed,
but Hope was quite determined to begin our escapade.
We sailed for Amazonia to assist a friend in need
and chugged along a river in a tub ill-named ‘Allspeed'.
We naturally expected cabins, bathrooms, meals and beds,
but none of these appeared and we were clearly unprepared.
I have to say that first night was a miserable affair.
Mosquitoes, flying termites, smoke and sweat stink clogged the air.
While others slept in hammocks, drawn around to shield from bites,
we huddled on the deck and slapped at bugs with no respite.
Next morning, since our appetites and skins were both inflamed,
we joined a group of men who played a native gambling game.
We played to win some breakfast, but our losses were unchecked
until (we thought) they pointed to the locket at Hope's neck.
I won't say ‘cheat', and yet they stretched the rules to say the least.
But though we lost, they treated us to hammocks and a feast.
A few days later, ‘Allspeed' briefly rested at a pier
which led to curtained green and there our error was made clear.
Around the boat, pink dolphins said hello with smiling beaks
and swallows diamond cut the river's olive satin sheet.
The gambling men departed with the locket AND with Hope!
They wouldn't let me take her place. She said 'Don't fret, I'll cope'.
I followed them along a path confined by thorny reeds,
but turned back from a mangrove swamp with strangulating weeds.
You mustn't worry, since she has a strong resilient mind
and though uncouth, they didn't seem the cannibalistic kind.
I hate to ask a favour and I'm sorry for the strife,
but when you're fully rested, would you help me find your wife?
Diane Hine's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Edelweiss Petty and Hope make a Seaside Discovery
Captain Bryce in Tasmania
A Letter to England
Edelweiss finds L. In the Amazon
Hope (a rondeau)
Sestina: Captain Bryce in the Amazon
Lucretius and the Anteater
Hope and Edelweiss
Comments about this poem (A Letter to England* by Diane Hine )
Did you read them?
- Silent Lips, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- ten pm is..., Mandolyn ...
- How joyfully surprised you made me (cava.., Gert Strydom
- Obstacles, gajanan mishra
- When Autumn Comes Again, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- People conceive me (inside - outside poe.., Gert Strydom
- Let it go - time, gajanan mishra
- Last Act of Penance, Andy Caldwell
- Look At This City, Lenny Orlando Camacho
- (1) I Accept for Now, She Doesn't Love Me, Uriah Hamilton
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- The Conclusion, Sir Walter Raleigh
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)