Travel Poems - Poems For Travel

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Questions Of Travel - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
- For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren't waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.

Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
- Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
- A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.

- Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr'dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages
- Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds' cages.
- And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians' speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:

'Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one's room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there... No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be? '


Comments about Questions Of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

  • Rookie Hu Sang (11/25/2007 11:17:00 AM)

    this poem teach me the imagination of Geography. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Poems About Travel

  1. 1. Questions Of Travel , Elizabeth Bishop
  2. 2. Travel , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  3. 3. Travel , Robert Louis Stevenson
  4. 4. Swallows Travel To And Fro , Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. 5. The Journey Of A Poem Compared To All Th.. , Delmore Schwartz
  6. 6. Food In Travel , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  7. 7. Travel Haiku - The Dead Sea , john tiong chunghoo
  8. 8. Oh, How I'D Like To Travel , jodi right
  9. 9. Travel Flowers , Marilyn Lott
  10. 10. Travel Song , Anne Glenny Wilson
  11. 11. Travel Haiku - Harbour Island (Eleuthera.. , john tiong chunghoo
  12. 12. Roads We Travel , Marilyn Lott
  13. 13. 0433 Zen And Travel , Michael Shepherd
  14. 14. Travel Haiku - New Orleans , john tiong chunghoo
  15. 15. (dodgy Dave Tale) Have Pulpit Will Travel , JoJo Bean
  16. 16. Travel Haiku - Lake Tahoe , john tiong chunghoo
  17. 17. Travel Haiku - The Great Wall , john tiong chunghoo
  18. 18. Travel Thailand Haiku - Jim Thompson Ban.. , john tiong chunghoo
  19. 19. The Joy Of Travel , Marilyn Lott
  20. 20. Travel Haiku-Out Islands, Bahamas , john tiong chunghoo
  21. 21. Travel , Vida Nenadic
  22. 22. Out-Of-The-Body Travel , Stanley Plumly
  23. 23. Delight Is The Train Travel , Subbaraman N V
  24. 24. Travel Singapore Haiku - The Singapore .. , john tiong chunghoo
  25. 25. Travel Haiku - Love Runs Deep At La Sama.. , john tiong chunghoo
  26. 26. Travel Haiku - St Paddy's Day Ireland , john tiong chunghoo
  27. 27. Travel Haiku- Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta) , john tiong chunghoo
  28. 28. Travel Japan Haiku - Mount Fuji (Japan) , john tiong chunghoo
  29. 29. Travel Haiku - Pawleys Island (South Car.. , john tiong chunghoo
  30. 30. Travel Haiku - Thai New Year The Songkran , john tiong chunghoo
  31. 31. Why Travel Around The World? , scarlet red
  32. 32. Travel Haiku - Arches National Park (Utah) , john tiong chunghoo
  33. 33. Cambodia Travel Series - Every Fallen St.. , john tiong chunghoo
  34. 34. Travel Indonesia Haiku - Seven Days In B.. , john tiong chunghoo
  35. 35. Travel Haiku - Ramon Crater (Israel) , john tiong chunghoo
  36. 36. Travel Haiku-Turquoise Coast (Turkey) , john tiong chunghoo
  37. 37. Travel Haiku - Outer Banks (North Caroli.. , john tiong chunghoo
  38. 38. Travel Singapore Haiku - Resorts World A.. , john tiong chunghoo
  39. 39. Travel Haiku - Carnival In Rio De Janeiro , john tiong chunghoo
  40. 40. Travel Haiku - Vallencia's Las Fallas (S.. , john tiong chunghoo
  41. 41. Travel Haiku - Yellowstone National Park.. , john tiong chunghoo
  42. 42. Travel Singapore Haiku - The Greenery , john tiong chunghoo
  43. 43. Travel: A Limerick , Jim Milks
  44. 44. Travel Haiku - Great Smoky Mountains (Th.. , john tiong chunghoo
  45. 45. Travel Haiku - Alaska's Denali National .. , john tiong chunghoo
  46. 46. Travel Haiku - Grenada Escapade , john tiong chunghoo
  47. 47. Travel Haiku-Flamenco Beach (Puerto Rico) , john tiong chunghoo
  48. 48. Travel Haiku - Australian Kangaroo , john tiong chunghoo
  49. 49. Travel Taiwan Poem - Taipei 101 Tower , john tiong chunghoo
  50. 50. Travel Singapore Haiku - The Singapore F.. , john tiong chunghoo
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