i listened with a mixture

i listened with a mixture
of disdain and wonder unsure
how to judge
these mad men who ventured
with Shackleton in wooden ships
for hundreds of days through
fields of ice, faces
swollen with frostbite,
limbs black and weak
from scurvy, bickering
in the wake of each
implacable rebuff,
while the great war ate the world,
and all for no reason
except to be first
to cross the snowy crown
of the planet and even then
they failed

until at the end i heard that one
of the men—his name
was Richards—
said he had no regrets;

“it was something,” he said,
“the human spirit accomplished;
it was something
you tried to do.”

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About nosuchthingasastraightline

I grew up in tiny Lyme, New Hampshire, where I drew, roamed the surrounding woods, and first entertained the idea of God while listening to my mom's Beatles records. I studied biology at Harvard University where I wrote for The Harvard Lampoon and also began writing poetry. I have since made a living variously as a comedy screenwriter, teacher, and private tutor in math, science and writing. I’ve released three CDs of original music as the singer-songwriter and guitar player for Crooked Roads (listen to latest tracks here: https://soundcloud.com/crooked-roads). My poetry writing has been inspired by Rumi, Billy Collins, William Carlos Williams, e.e. cummings, Antonio Machado, Federico Garcia Lorca, and others. My two books of poetry, "The Morning I Married the Sky," and “Free this Morning” are both available on Amazon.
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