Starting the Year off With Poetry


My friend Wendy over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty suggested we fill up Facebook with poetry today to celebrate New Year’s Day. Why not the whole internet?

My favorite poem, actually it is just a stanza, is from The Lotos Eaters by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

This poem is based on the story of Odysseus’s mariners described in scroll IX of Homer’s Odyssey. A storm blows them off course as they journey back from Troy. They come to a land where people do nothing but eat lotos (the Greek for our English “lotus”), a flower so delicious that some of the men, upon tasting it, lose all desire to return to Ithaca and long only to remain in the Land of the Lotos. Odysseus must drag his men away so that they can resume their journey home.

When my children were small and had a scary dream, or otherwise could not sleep, I would tell them to shut their eyes and imagine they are flying to a beautiful island. Then I would recite this stanza.

There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro’ the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.”


 Have a Happy, Poetry Filled New Year!