05 November 2012

Tuesday Poem: Ulysses 2012, by Gerry Te Kapa Coates

You and I are not now that strength
which in the old days could
move earth and heaven

But we have grown old together
rather than matching each in aging
which is our strength and comfort.

What happened to your body
happened to my eyes and I
no longer see you getting old.

You are still just a version of 33
though there are times when my
rose tinted glasses fail, but seldom.

We can still move the earth, maybe
not heaven at the same time, except
perhaps in the morning on a good day.

We can forgive each other much
now that nothing − yet everything − still
matters in this, the journey of the souls.

Something ere the end may yet be done,
be realised, that this life was indeed a bed
of roses of which we could not get enough.

- 2012

Credit note: This poem is not previously published, and is reproduced by permission of Gerry Te Kapa Coates, whom I'll be interviewing on this blog later this week.

Tim says: "Ulysses", by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is one of my favourite poems - certainly my favourite 19th-century poem - and I have previously used it as a Tuesday Poem on my blog. So, when I asked Gerry to supply a Tuesday Poem as a teaser for my interview of him later this week, I was delighted when he sent "Ulysses 2012", which is full of ingenious references to its great original as well as being a lovely poem in its own right.

The Tuesday Poem: Is justified and ancient, and it travels across the land but usually winds up here.


Penelope said...

So interesting that the Tennyson has the one reference to an agèd wife and then the hero is off again, whereas this takes the relationship as the main thing in the lives of both of the partners.

Really looking forward to the interview after this, Tim!

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Penelope. (And how appropriate that yours is the first comment!)

Keith Westwater said...

Thanks Tim for Gerry's poem and for the interview on your blog.I enjoyed both poems and will look out for 'The View From Up There'

Although we have not met, we share a mutual taxi driver when we go to Christchurch. He has been trying to get me to acquaint myself with Gerry's work. Look's like serendipity has intervened.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Keith I like the idea of taxi drivers who promote poets and poetry as they drive around!