A Lonely Wanderer

A Lonely Wanderer

A Poem by Rabia
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This is an assignment that I just recently submitted as my final writing for Freshman year in high school. The assignment was to create our "personal odyssey" due to just have read Homer's Odyssey.

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A Lonely Wanderer

Book I

     Partway through the course of my life                                                                                                                     I locate myself within a thicket, dark,

For the proper pathway had been gone.     

        I behold nothing beyond me, only a slight glimpse of trees

And that bright, shining light,

On top of that hillside an endless ways away.

 

     Speak, Heavenly Muse of that journey I took,

Out of this gloomy and bedeviled grove;

And to that lustrous glow I could barely heed.

 

     Sing, O’ heavenly Muse to this plead I beg of you;

And use your blessed skills,

To inspire me to write my song.

 

     Tell us, Muse, of that journey I took.

Speak of where I embark; and

Sing of where it all ends.

     Make known that lengthy journey I took

And all I saw and confronted.

Tell us every detail, and start in that forest where it all began.

          I stand there upright, bewildered

And mystified of where I seemed to be

And how foolish it was to wander in this dismal time of day.

     I know nothing of where to go

Or from where I came. My appearance, my name,

All distant thoughts of the past that could not be recalled.

     Towards that light, I aimlessly roam.

I stroll for hours as the appendages of the forest wrap around me.

In my mind I feel like I am nearing my goal, but in reality I am not.

     Suddenly, I find myself next to the limb of a tree

Two-fold the size of my petty body. I see no way forward,

Or any way backwards, so I stand still, feeling that the end of my life has come.

     The world around me seems to have no motion

Not a leaf falls, not a gust of wind blows.

The silent minutes became hours, and in a flash, the forest woke.

     The tress seemed to dance; the grass had started to sway;

The leaves whirled; the birds sang.

The silent and dull woods had grown into a turbulent riot.

     Sounds erupted from all angles of this world.

The quiescent vibe of the woods evolves into the forte of an orchestra from nature.

From the distant haze approaches a shadow in the figure of a man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A silent and forsaken field

                                              Is brutally murdered by a stampede

                                    Of famished stallions, who would stop

                                    At nothing in their path to obtain a meal.

          That shadowy figure drew nearer my sight,

I could see more clearly the picture that beheld before me.

An enormous chariot hauled by a zoo of uncountable animals.

     The shade halted beside me and the celebration ceased.

The first one stood and mounted himself up on the sled;

Much taller he was, with the body and strength of a fighter.

     A beard shrouded the lower portion of his face

And he stood there, nude, being clothed only by

Ivy and leaves that wrapped around him as if he was their master.

     On his shoulder rested a bird;

This man standing near me was not a man

And I could sense his godlike aura, from where I stood.

     Only a few steps away from my eyes

Stood the God Dionysus himself.

 

Book II

     Does this lonely wanderer wish to reach that most sacred light?”

Inquired the holy God of Wine.

I, mystified by his godly piercing eyes cannot bring myself forward to speak

     “Does this lonely man not know how to speak?”

Using every effort I had in his godly presence,

I brought myself to answer his query.

     “O’ mighty Antheus, please hear my plead,

And take pity for me as I speak my tale.

I believe I was once a man, just as all the other men,

      But I was a great fool not knowing my way in this life.

I awaken one day in this very dark grove; no name or appearance;

No place to go and nowhere to be. I am lost and alone

     Feeling that I have no place to go; and no one to see,

I have forgotten of myself, and they must have all forgotten me.

That sacred light on top of that hill is where I aim, for that is the only place I can go.”

     Mighty Bacchus stood as still as a statue,

But still gave out a very heartwarming grin.

“Lonely wanderer, I feel your pain, but staying and lamenting

     Shall do us no good. Mount yourself on this chariot,

And I shall show you the way to that light,

That shining, lucent glow that you strongly seek.

     But be warned, young wanderer,

This is not a simple trip. There shall be great misery on the way,

But a great joy shall welcome you at the end.

     Does this lonely wanderer still wish to embark?”

Thus Dionysus and I now reply,

“Great god of wine, why should I stay behind

     If I have nowhere else to go? Yes, I shall take this journey

And I shall overcome what I see.” And Dionysus replies,

“This lonely wanderer is a brave wanderer.”

     And so I and my guide mount on that chariot,

And off toward that lustrous glow we go.

 

     The forest has vanished, and now we glide

At a godlike speed, through a desolate, grassy field,

As that light on the hill approaches our eyes.

     A lonely wanderer and his guide travel through

An even lonelier field. I take notice of the yellow sphere in

The abyss above, that I have not seen for what seems a lifetime.

     From this sea of nothing, two shades seem to appear.

As they near my eyes they take shape as children, one boy, and one girl.

Running around, playing and enjoying life as if it were endless.

     The chariot comes to a sudden halt.

 “Who are these children we see?” I ask my guide.

“The names of these beings have no importance to us.” Replied the great god.

     “Why do we stop if there is no importance in them?” I continue to inquire.

“It not matters who they are, but does this image not put happiness in your lonely heart?”

My guide was correct, for this image comforted my confused and lost heart.

      Why these two shadows have appeared before my eyes, I not know,

But to why I mention them in these verses I speak, I wish to add some joy

To this very lonely and miserable song you hear.

     “See O’ lonely wanderer how much happiness can come from such simplicity?

But be warned for the road ahead shall be filled with much more misery and lamenting.

With this warning, I plead for you to let us move one forward to the palace of Hades.”

     Thus Bacchus and the barren fields of the heavenly sphere we were once in

Turns into Aidoneus’ devoid abyss of lamenting souls.

 

Book III

     Lamentations arise from every corner of Hades dark palace.

On the right the sinners were howling with pain from eternal punishment;

On the left stood the saints, living in eternal ecstasy for their good deeds.

     We walk through the land of spirits as my guide begins to speak

“All these spirits that roam these halls were once living, as you are now.

Some saw the good in life, and some turned to the bad.

     You shall see several familiar faces in these deathly halls,

Some of the good, some not. Let us venture forward

And speak to these forsaken spirits.” Thus Bacchus and we venture ahead.

     I begin to stride towards the left of this spirit inhabited abyss,

Then my guide snatches me away from this path I took.

“These men on the left are those who have done well in their life.

     We need nothing from them now because they cannot see that light we seek.

Their life is fulfilled and their goals are achieved, so let us speak to those

Who did the wrong in their life and are eternally suffering,

     For they wished to find that light, very similar to ours,

But failed on that path for selfishness overcame them;

And now they lament in pain and misery as their limbs are torn away from their body,

     One by one they suffer through those tortures spoken by another wandering poet

And their screams are heard all throughout this gloomy place.”

     Thus Great Dionysus and we tread towards those saddened people.

To the left I see familiar figures I have heard of before. There stands Achilles,

Legendary warrior of Greece and hero of Troy. Beside him stand noble Polyneices, and his

     Brave sister Antigone who fought for what they believed. Then there is Caesar, Napoleon,

Odysseus and his great son Telemachus; I see Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Raphael, 

Romulus and Remus, the founders of the great city themselves.

     As we tread to the right I see the opposite of the left,

Sinners lament and cry of the pain;

Their infamous faces shown through this dark place.

     There stood several faces, many I not know

But I see one man betwixt Brutus and Cassius,

A very lonely one indeed.

     He went by the name of Creon, King of Thebes.

Years of misery in his castle followed by misery in Hades.

The loneliness in this man made all other’s seem very petty.

     We stand next to the king and my guide spoke to me,

“O’ lonely wanderer, this is another man who has felt

Tenfold the loneliness you have felt; but do not feel pity for this cruel man

     For he has deserved the loneliness he suffers;

But you, wanderer, do not deserve a punishment as harsh as him.

You cannot speak for he is dead, and he has nothing to see.

     Loneliness takes all his words away,

For it is the worst state one can feel. You have been brought here

To see how far loneliness can go, but let us leave,

     For this is a very dismal place

That saddens a man even more.”

 

Book IV

     There we stood, outside Hade’s domain

And that light on the hill got closer to my sight,

And my guide began to speak,

     “We are nearing the end, young wanderer, but you journey

Is yet to finish; what you shall now see is the loneliness’s slave,

Misery, doing its job the cruelest it can.”

     As we venture ahead, the misery my guide speaks of

Appears in front of my eyes. O’ what a horrendous sight I see

One that is hard to sing of in my verses, but I shall try my best to speak.  

     I see a man all shriveled and naked, right in front of my eyes.

Old and ugly, the body of a human, but the appearance of a creature.

He is curled up on the ground, weeping for all he has lost.

     This is the image of a man who has given up.

This is a man who is far lonelier and sadder than any man I have seen.

This is an image of disgust, what all humans avoid to be.

     This man tries to cry out, but he can’t;

For he has no voice to speak since there is no one to speak to.

O’ I admit, the sight of this man nearly made me weep,

     But sadness does not fill my heart.

I am not sad for I know several things after encountering this being.

I know now who I am and where I belong.

     I know my purpose for reaching that light;

And I was never a lonely man, for this was

Merely a distraction to where I should be headed.

     And with this said, reader, we embark towards that light,

Which stands on that hill not so far away.

 

Book V

“Though that light may seem near, wanderer,

We are not finished yet;

For we still have one last stop ahead.

     But do not fear, wanderer, for our next destination

Is not a miserable one, but one that all of man dream to see.

So let us venture forward and see what waits.”

     Thus the Great God of Wine and we continue forward.

And as we approach this site, I believe my eyes deceive me

As I see three heavenly figures stand right before me.

     To the left stands legendary Homer, who tells

The journey of great Achilles and Odysseus, with godlike words of poetry.

To the right is Virgil, who speaks of Great Aeneas,

     And his unforgotten journey to the poet’s home country.

And in the middle, stands Dante, the greatest of them all;

Who sings of the three heavenly spheres and Beatrice,

     For whom he loved greatly, but was not loved back.

He sings of that life changing journey whom he was guided

By the man opposite him and his love that was mentioned.

     His verses show his misery and can make a man weep with pity.

But here stand three Gods of literature, whose verse uplift one’s soul

Greatly, out of any grief imaginable.

     If not for my guide, I could not part myself

From this heavenly song sung by three,

But that hill with the luminous light waits ahead.

 

“You must go that light alone,

For this is your journey and not mine.

May the path of the wanderer cross again with the path of I, God of Wine.”

     Thus Bacchus and I stood with no companion,

But that lonely hill in front. I feel weakened as I disembark

That shelter of a chariot; and so I trudge onward.

    

     Snow falls as I climb up this forsaken hill.

I feel as if I see shadows and figures speaking.

As I climb this cliff, my life seems to fly in front of these eyes that I have.

 

     Though my body persuades me to weaken,

I command it to strengthen,

As we near the peak.

 

     Years seem to pass, as I reach the midway point of life,

And as my eyes blink, I am now an old man. I am an old man

Who has seen the greatness and misery of life.

     I am an elderly man with the strength of a child,

But the determination of a God. I am a man

Who has suffered, I am a man who has lived.

     I, no longer a longer a wanderer, see ahead

Of me, that glorious light I greatly seek.

The presence of its heavenliness blinds me,

     Then I begin to fall.

             An old man lies on his deathbed

           Reflecting upon the wonderful journey

          He experience, known as life, and waits

       Patiently for death to come take him.

      And he is happy for, in his eyes,

     Life has been fulfilled.

     My knees begin to tremble,

I quickly lose balance and fall to the ground.

I feel nothing, only a heavenly aura of happiness

     And fulfillment that comfort me.

I don’t speak, I don’t move, I lie motionless.

I am dead.

     But fear not reader, for I have lived a long life

And I have reached that sacred, mystifying light

I dreamed to see.

     As my spirit rises from the ground,

I slowly remember what everything was, is, and will.

But one thought continues to linger within my thought filled mind,

     What is that light? That light that all of us seem to aim for.

That light that changes a lonely wanderer into a fulfilled man.

 

    



© 2012 Rabia



Author's Note

Rabia
***Please note that this is meant to resemble an epic poem, not actually be one; so the length is much shorter and there isn't really any poetic verse.***
Also, I am just a high school freshman, so I'm not a professional at English or poetry, just a strong interest.

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Added on June 2, 2012
Last Updated on June 2, 2012
Tags: poem, odyssey, dante, homer, virgil, dionysus, epic, lonely, wanderer, a, a lonely wanderer

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Rabia
Rabia

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I'm still a high school student that enjoys writing and reading very much, at least more then someone else my age would. more..