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Ulysses time lapse

As we trekked and paddled across Iceland Chris and I recorded two of our favourite poems, one line each day, and turned them into videos. What do you think?

Ulysses -Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws to a savage race,
That hoard, and feed, and sleep, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known;
Myself not least,
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breath were life.
Gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine.
You and I are old;
Old age had yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs.
Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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  1. Very creative and engaging – love the beard progress…..

  2. My beard is crap! Chris is far more manly in his:
    (and far better at reciting poems)

  3. Love it! Truly inspiring stuff.

  4. Love it.

  5. And the best beard video I know (plus a great trip and great video):

  6. It is another gift you have given us readers and a very original one indeed. Poetry inspired by the wandering spirit, the wandering spirit inspired by poetry… perfect balance. Thank you for this treat.

  7. Excellent choice of poem sir! You wouldn’t have wanted dithering Prufrock or Hamlet now would you? I look forward to more.

  8. Beautiful work – definitely one worth memorizing. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Al,

    Loved it (and I am a total philistine when it comes to poetry… I try to like it but it just doesn’t happen, a bit like my intentions to do yoga!).

    Is it possible to download the video from somewhere? I’d like to play it in an assembly at school to remind everyone about your talk (it’s about a year since you came to speak here in Herefordshire).



  10. I really like this, but…

    Next time if you could recipe Longfellow’s ‘A Psalm of Life’, especially the last three verses:

    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time ;

    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.

    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate ;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.

    …that would be great!!! 🙂

    Cheers, J

    • Jim,
      Thanks for the first suggestion in a new series of “Poetry Requests”!
      I do like this poem a lot.
      “Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.”

      • Yes, please! Would love to find more inspiring/motivational poetry…

        Whitman’s ‘When I Heard The Learned Astronomer’ is probably my #1 right now… I’ve shared that with so many young people!

  11. I found it all…very interesting…liked it, AL. Good idea. ;D

  12. That poem…is you….well read, because of it. Enjoyed.

  13. Jon Bradshaw Posted

    Very original.
    Techie question – what lens is on your camera (Im assuming its 5d)

  14. That is a great poem! Invictus by Henley is another strong one (if you can disassociate it from Gordon Brown):

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

  15. Mazing how I stumbled upon this video on Vimeo via and I do not know what other sites.
    Wonderful lines and video, well done. Might actually be funny to read some modern ‘classics’ like popsongs in a serious manner as well… Anything that works to share the outdoors!
    Cheers, Harry

  16. So cool, u r so cool!



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