Tourist

anne martello tower 1970

( at Joyce’s Tower, Sandycove, Dublin, Ireland, 1970)

 

All my life I have loved travelling and being a tourist, but as I grow older, I’m very happy to stay at home.

This poem, by George Jonas, is about just that.

 

 

The Circle Narrows

It is quite possible

that our common thoughts come to us from the sea

Our doubtful soul follows the herrings

And we all die after the 11 o’clock news.

Still there is

A certain self which I for my part

Keep wrapped in tinfoil among my private papers.

 

I am less and less concerned

with a planet I share with Arabs and caterpillars

With a  country I share with fellow motorists

With women who share me with film directors

And with a heart that after minor adjustments

Could be used by a customs officer.

 

The trips I will take from now on

Must only be a few inches in length.

 

 

How ironic it is that I found this poem in the Saturday Review in the Spring of 1970, in my senior year of college, and that I thought enough of it to cut it out and paste it in my scrapbook from that year!

I only began my travelling after 1970!

Paris 1976

 

And in 1970, the word “Arabs” only connoted, for me, strangers.

I was in the mind set of the world weary 22 year old.  What an ignoramus.

Still, the poem haunts me.

 

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