I re-read this poem recently and the last four lines really spoke to me. Who do we write for? Our children? Our children’s children? I find the words of past poets very comforting at times, that their words can span hundred of years and still have the power to move me.
I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.
I care not if you bridge the seas,
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.
But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love
And foolish thought of good and ill
And prayers to them who sit above?
How shall we conquer? Like a wind
That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Maeonides the blind
Said it three thousand years ago.
Since I can never see your face
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.
James Elroy Flecker