Flashback Friday – Tithonus

Hello guys! 
Sorry for going AWOL on you. However, I am back and very much alive. What better way to make this announcement than with a Flashback Friday! For those of you who have hung around this blog long enough, this is nothing new. For the newcomers, however, Flashback Friday is where I post my favourite poems that I’ve read over the years and have been appropriately awed and/or inspired by. There’s also the added bonus of listening to me explain why the particular poem adorns this list. Yay! (not)
Today’s pick is Tithonus by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Here’s why – we’ve all nurtured and harboured dreams of being granted three wishes by an ever-elusive genie at some point of time or the other. It tickles me no end to hear the outrageously preposterous demands people want to make when they can have absolutely anything in the world. I dare say these wishes are the true measure of a man. Tithonus was one such man. He fell in love with Aurora, the Goddess of Dawn. She, in turn, fell in love with him too and took him away from earth to reside with her in her heavenly abode. He asked of her a gift, which she bestowed upon him very kindly indeed. He asked for immortality (isn’t that what most of humanity is striving towards?). but alas! in his haste, he failed to ask for eternal youth too. So, now, he wanders the halls, all aged and wizened and, yet, he cannot die. Talk about eternal damnation wrapped up as a present! I come back to this poem every time I need a reminder of man’s vanity and the to not be too sure of myself – to always think before acting. And, of course, to ‘be careful what you wish for!’ 
I would also recommend you to pay keen attention to how Lord Tennyson has portrayed dawn in personification. I am in love with that description! I’d never fault Tithonus for falling in love with this side of nature.
Happy reading! please let me know what you think of this poem in the comments section down below.
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair’d shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Tithonus”

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#FlashbackFriday: Favourite Poem Edition

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the weekend.

As you may have noticed, I’ve recently written a lot of poetry despite having rued all my life over my inability to make things rhyme. I have no words to express how overwhelmed I am at all the love and appreciation you’ve showered on my posts. Thank you. Thank you!

As a fellow blogger kindly reminded my yesterday, there’s inspiration all around us. Reading what others have written before us can give us a nudge in the right direction, can warm our hearts and stir our soul into creating a beautiful portrait with our words too.

Hence, it behoves me to share with you those poems that have inspired me since I was a kid. These are brilliant creations that have stuck with me over the years and I can more often than not recite them verbatim. For the sake of brevity of the blog post, I’m planning on sharing one such poem a week. Every Friday. In no particular order. I have always been bad at picking just one favourite. That might quite possibly be the reason why I love making lists!

Today’s poem is called The Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson. I came across it in standard eight and I’m still not over the goosebumps it gave me. It is a saga of bravery and the sheer strength of human spirit. It is a tribute to soldiers all over the world who, even in the face of great adversity and even when heavily outnumbered, refuse to give an inch and choose go down fighting. Here’s to all the Bravehearts! May your sacrifice never be forgotten.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

by Lord Alfred TeTennyso

I

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!

Charge for the guns!” he said.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

II

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldier knew

Someone had blundered.

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

III

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volleyed and thundered;

Stormed at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of hell

Rode the six hundred.

IV

Flashed all their sabres bare,

Flashed as they turned in air

Sabring the gunners there,

Charging an army, while

All the world wondered.

Plunged in the battery-smoke

Right through the line they broke;

Cossack and Russian

Reeled from the sabre stroke

Shattered and sundered.

Then they rode back, but not

Not the six hundred.

V

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon behind them

Volleyed and thundered;

Stormed at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell.

They that had fought so well

Came through the jaws of Death,

Back from the mouth of hell,

All that was left of them,

Left of six hundred.

VI

When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

All the world wondered.

Honour the charge they made!

Honour the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred!

I think it’s safe to say that I would never cease to be affected by this poem, especially the lines Theirs not to make reply. Theirs not to reason why. Theirs but to do or die.

That’s all for today, folks! I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do. Please let me know your thoughts on it in the comments section down below. I’d love to hear back from you! Also, let me know how you feel about this new endeavour of mine. Just a simple comment of yay or nay should do the trick. Thank you for reading!

Much love,

Varnika.

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