Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. OFF GASPE, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. OFF GASPE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A few small huts, a narrow strip of cultivated land
Last Line: Have!
Subject(s): Greetings; Sailing & Sailors; Sea; Ships & Shipping; Travel; Seamen; Sails; Ocean; Journeys; Trips


A FEW small huts, a narrow strip of cultivated land;
Behind, the frowning mountains of Gaspé, forest-clad; in front, the
wide sea-mouth of the St. Lawrence.

How lost and ignorant! says one passing by on board ship—wondering
that life can be supported in such a place,
So rude and so remote—no arts, no papers, telegrams—scarcely the
ordinary commodities!
The monotonous sea, the brief summer, the sullen forests, the scanty
products of land and water, the occasional visits of the priest from over the
mountains!
A living death—he says.

Yet here too—and in winter snow and ice—here too the human heart,
not dead at all, just the same as in the midst of great cities, lives and
blooms;
Here lies close to the sky and the rocks and the sea, and is at
home—as the star is at home in the sky, and the daisy in the grass;
Without communication with New York or London, and yet in the centre of the
world as much as either, and with news and telegrams coming from a long way
farther.

O human heart!
Neither lost nor ignorant—living at first hand from thy source,
I perceive that thy home and mine are the same—one house though the
doors be different.
Not here or there; not here, O friend, in the centre of the world and there
outcast and forlorn [rather outcast and forlorn and lost and ignorant he who
thinks thus]—
But ever at home—to thee greetings and congratulations and love wafted
over the water,
I send.

A thousand gulls and guillemots on the calm sea-bosom in the flooding
sun-warmth basking!
This ship sailing for thee, like a sign through a gleam of summer—thou
dwelling between the steep forests and the shore with joy in thy heart as I
have!





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