Hampsfell/Was it Folly? #poetry #dVerse

A lifetime’s quest, or that
of half a life at least
was born the day I first
climbed Hampsfell.

Lookout point on the Cartmel
Peninsula, high above Grange-over-
Sands/stretched out below me
out to sea

Behind were all the mountains
of my youth and visions
of the mountains
still to climb.

As I approached the temple
on the hill, I read the legend
Ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠὼς
above the door.

Next day I took to the library
(No Wikipedia yet)
To crack the code, ‘Rhododactylos Eos’
In Greek

‘Rose-fingered dawn,’ Homeric
rosy-fingered dawn above
the wine-dark sea, one day I knew
I’d have to see.

So I set myself to learning Ancient Greek
And did half-learn it,
Though I studied English I could not forget
The Classics.

So I didn’t become a doctor
nor a lawyer, nor
a marketing guru, nor any other profession that
made money:

I studied Classics until
the money ran out and then
I took a job, just any job to make
ends meet.

*** ***

What of the Hampsfell Hospice
built by a dreamer, on a windy hill
for shelter, or for folly?/ For
a visionary dream?

What of my half-a-lifetime’s quest:
I sailed the winedark sea, and glimpsed
The rosy-fingered dawn
All longing.

For what, was I longing?
Was it folly, to feel, always,
Something missing?
Not folly, as I understand it

Now I’ve found my words
and rediscovered songs I used to sing
but G. Remington erected the Hampsfell Hospice
not in folly

The last words
I leave to Solomon
And him:

“Though thou shouldest bray a fool in mortar among wheat with a pestle yet will not his foolishness depart from him.”

© Experimentsinfiction 2020, All Rights Reserved

This poem was written for dVerse poetics where our host Lisa has asked us for a poem using the word ‘folly.’ Her writings on Mussenden’s Temple inspired me to write about a building I was deeply inspired by in my youth. Hampsfell Hospice above Grange-over-Sands. I believe this is a poem-in-progress as there is a lot more I would like to do with it. I have written like a dog tonight but I’m to tired to edit like a cat.

39 thoughts on “Hampsfell/Was it Folly? #poetry #dVerse

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  1. Ingrid, what an intriguing structure and those stones around it as well. I can see why you would have been drawn to it as a youth. Your poem has the feel of an epic about it that includes a hero’s journey and a quest with many adventures and challenges along the way. Hope you keep going with it! Wonderful treasure unearthed from the prompt today <3

  2. I really loved the story of your own visit and how that single line of greek changed the course of your life… my father always told about how his father forced him to go for the classics (and grew up regretting he couldn’t take science)

  3. Ingrid.
    It has, since first reading you, been apparent that there is often a depth to your writing worth unearthing – I dig! You have found, here, treasure in Folly.
    KOKO xo

      1. ‘Looke who that is moost vertuous alway,
        Pryvee and apert, and moost entendeth ay
        To do the gentil dedes that he kan,
        Taak hym for the grettest gentil man’

        …is, apparently, the motto of the Bristol Arm.
        Well, that’s what the wife of Bath says!

  4. what great gift the inspirartion of your youth toi unearth these wonderful story when you climbed Hampsfell. Maybe you could sing us your songs in your addition.. no cats necesary for adding just your voice.. ❤️🤗🤗🤗👏👏👏👏👏 xo Cindy

  5. Ingrid, I enjoyed this poem about a journey through life and an actual journey. The imagery is beautiful, and I liked how you contrasted the dreams of your youth with the realities of life. All the best! Cheryl

  6. This is such an in-depth account of the life-altering journey you embarked upon, Ingrid. Especially resonate with; “r what, was I longing? Was it folly, to feel, always, something missing.”💝

  7. Your photo and poem of Hampsfell Hospice are equally intriguing, Ingrid! Who wouldn’t be enticed by a mysterious inscription of a rose-fingered dawn?

  8. kaykuala
    So I set myself to learning Ancient Greek
    And did half-learn it,
    Though I studied English I could not forget
    The Classics.

    The pursuance of knowledge is certainly a powerful motivator. Rightly said Ingrid!


  9. This is beautiful, evocative. We must follow our dreams, ultimately, rather than do what others expect of us, perhaps. Very nicely composed. I went to the Cartmel Peninsula a few times years ago, to a couple of Buddhist festivals! A bit incongruous… maybe not. It’s certainly a beautiful part of the southern lakes, your writing makes me want to go back and find this… and your rosy fingered dawn.

  10. I can so empathise with your choices—that studying the Classics should send you off in search of the wine-dark sea and the rosy-fingered dawn rather than into the lucrative realms of medicine or law.

  11. I made it back this morning to re-read and comment! I love that your poem has a firm setting and sense of place, Ingrid. The name already gave me a clear image, which was confirmed in your words. I especially love the connection between you and the landscape in the lines:
    ‘Behind were all the mountains
    of my youth and visions
    of the mountains
    still to climb.’
    And I learned more about you. I’m glad you got to sail the winedark sea and glimpse the rosy-fingered dawn.

  12. You’ve given me a lot to think about Ingrid. It feels similar to my periodic questioning of why I keep creating things when it earns me neither money nor accolades. Still I persist. I think we must. There is something that exists beyond the material that satisfies us in a way far more substantial. (K)

    1. Thanks, K – I think you are exactly right. I’ve just always felt that there was something missing inside of me until I started writing again.

  13. Wow, Ingrid, sailing the wine-dark sea with Homer — how can that be folly when it captures the inchoate longing for beauty and meaning in this mystery we call life. “Now I’ve found my words” brilliantly conveys self-discovery and resolution. Just loved this.💜💜💜

  14. I love how you were driven to explore, not just the beautiful locale here, but the classics and the beautiful words throughout the ages. I enjoyed exploring this piece!

  15. Ingrid, what a wonderful poem. Sounds like exciting journeys. I do not think anything that someone does because it moves their heart can ever be considered folly. So I say keep Chasing those rosy-fingered dawns, even if it’s only in your heart. I really enjoyed this excellent writing.

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