Guest poem submitted by a poster who wishes to remain anonymous
(Poem #1225) To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence
I who am dead a thousand years, And wrote this sweet, archaic song, Send you my words for messengers The way I shall not pass along I care not if you bridge the seas Or ride secure the cruel sky, Or build consummate palaces Of metal or of masonry. But have you wine and music still, And statues and a bright-eyed love, And foolish thoughts of good and ill, And prayers to them who sit above? How shall we conquer? Like a wind That falls at eve our fancies blow, And old Maeonides the blind Said it three thousand years ago. O friend unseen, unborn, unknown, Student of our sweet English tongue: Read out my words at night, alone: I was a poet, I was young Since I can never see your face, And never shake you by the hand, I send my soul through time and space To greet you. You will understand.
Note: Maeonides is Homer. Have always enjoyed poetry, and I came across this poem first almost 40 years ago and was struck by what it said to me about how poets could communicate ideas across space and time; and also about loneliness. It was reinforced in 1995 when I first discovered email and the web - the last paragraph in particular being particularly poignant, especially since my elder daughter was about to leave to study overseas. Now that both daughters have left home and are each half a world away I am even more grateful for the Web. [Martin adds] Flecker is a rich and popular source of titles; today's poem provided Clarke with his "The Cruel Sky", and permeates the following piece: [broken link] http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/sciencefiction/story/0,6000,415880,00.html