Two Travellers

One of us in the compartment stares
Out of his window the whole day long
With attentive mein, as if he knows,
There is hid in the journeying scene a song
To recall or compose
From snatches of vision, hints of vanishing airs.

He'll mark the couched hares
In grass whereover the lapwing reel and twist:
He notes how the shockheaded sunflowers climb
Like boys on the wire by the railway line;
And for him those morning rivers are love-in-a-mist,
And the chimneystacks prayers.

The other is plainly a man of affairs,
A seasoned commuter. His looks assert,
As he opens a briefcase intent on perusing
Facts and figures, he'd never divert
With profitless musing
The longest journey, or notice the dress it wears.

Little he cares
For the coloured drift of his passage: no, not a thing
Values in all that is hurrying past,
Though dimly he senses from first to last
How flaps and waves the smoke of his travelling
At the window-squares.

One is preoccupied, one just stares,
While the whale-ribbed terminus nears apace
Where passengers all must change, and under
Its arch triumphal quickly disperse
So you may wonder
Watching these two whom the train indifferently bears.

by Cecil Day-Lewis

Comments (8)

Dear Charles, I really like your poem. The one thing that I became fixated on was the wording-yet, and still. In my mind, one or the other seemed unnecessary, and I couldn't decide which. Maybe neither. Its the critique in me. Love, Phillip
This poem so speaks of both the temporal and eternal realms. The depression could be washed away along with the scribblings and author, too, gone in a cleansing foam of salt and water. The sea, the sea: life source and healer. Nothing can stand in its way, man cannot command it nor change one wave in its path. A wonderful poem with great depth in its simplicity.
The sitting by the shore when depressed is enough to inspire anyone to write....the scribbling in the sand, I love that. Erased so soon. Beautiful poem. Sincerely, Mary
A meticulous and beautifully vivid angle at which to view the ocean from - vast, deep and leaving its mark everywhere. A wonderful, refreshing read. - K.
Exactly. Wonderful write, Charles. Sandra
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