Stevenson Robert Louis, In riva al mare

In riva al mare
Quand’ero laggiù in riva al mare
mi diedero una vanga per scavare
che aveva il manico di legno.
Ogni buca era vuota, una scodella,
ma il mare che sale, riempie e livella,
finché non giunge più e non lascia segno.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Il mio letto è una nave. Feltrinelli Editore, 2010.

Stevenson Robert Louis, Viaggio

Vorrei andare alle Terre del Moro
dove nascono le mele d’oro,
e sotto cieli azzurri e soli gialli
ondeggia l'isola dei pappagalli,
e Robinson Crusoe fa le barchette
coi cacatoa e con le caprette,
e sotto un sole caldo, abbacinante,
città orientali, in un luogo distante
sorgono tra le sabbie e nei segreti
delle moschee, degli alti minareti,
e ricche merci straniere e locali
vendono nei bazar genti orientali,
dove la Gran Muraglia cinge la Cina,
da una parte il deserto preme e confina,
dall'altra cimbali, voci e tamburi
nelle città fan risuonare i muri.
E poi torride foreste infuocate
più vaste del Galles e alte esagerate,
e palme di cocco con le scimmie a nanna
mentre il negro dorme nella capanna,
e il coccodrillo dalla ruvida crosta
sonnecchia nel Nilo e intanto si apposta,
e il rosso fenicottero vola ben raso
prendendo i pesci che gli vengono a naso,
e nella giungla, vicine e lontane,
nascoste e in ascolto nelle umide tane
tigri con molti uomini sulla coscienza
stanno in agguato alla pura presenza
del cacciatore o del buon cittadino
che avanza ignaro sul suo palanchino.
Lì, tra le sabbie del deserto assolate
sorgono antiche città abbandonate.
E tutti i bambini, pezzenti e sovrani,
divennero adulti in tempi lontani.
Non l'eco di un passo, nessuno in cammino,
il grido di un topo, un uccello, un bambino,
e quando la notte dolcissima scende
non un barlume di luce l’accende.
Da grande ci andrò, ne sono certo,
in groppa a un cammello nel deserto,
accenderò un fuoco nel buio tenebroso
di un antico salone polveroso,
e guarderò le pitture sui muri,
feste, battaglie, eroi forti e puri,
e troverò in un angolo un po' fuori mano
gli antichi giochi di un bambino egiziano.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Il mio letto è una nave. Feltrinelli Editore, 2010.

Stevenson Robert Louis, At the sea-side

At the sea-side
When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup,
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Il mio letto è una nave. Feltrinelli Editore, 2010.

Steinbeck John, Thruways

When we get these thruways across the whole country, as we will and must, it will be possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing.

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Kerouac Jack, Old road

All that old road of the past unreeling dizzily as if the cup of life had been overturned and everything gone mad. My eyes ached in nightmare day.

Jack Kerouac, On the road

Potts Rolf, Vagabonding

Thus, the question of how and when to start vagabonding is not really a question at all. Vagabonding starts now. Even if the practical reality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility. From here, the reality of vagabonding comes into sharper focus as you adjust your worldview and begin to embrace the exhilarating uncertainty that true travel promises.

Rolf Potts, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

Eliot George, New land

Even people whose lives have been made various by learning sometimes find it hard to keep a fast hold on their habitual views of life, on their faith in the Invisible - nay, on the sense that their past joys and sorrows are a real experience, when they are suddenly transported to a new land, where the beings around them know nothing of their history, and share none of their ideas - where their mother earth shows another lap, and human life has other forms than those on which their souls have been nourished. Minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love have perhaps sought this Lethean influence of exile in which the past becomes dreamy because its symbols have all vanished, and the present too is dreamy because it is linked with no memories.

George Eliot, Silas Marner

Kapuściński Ryszard, Going somewhere

Such people, while useful, even agreeable, to others, are, if truth be told, frequently unhappy–lonely in fact. Yes, they seek out others, and it may even seem to them that in a certain country or city they have managed to find true kinship and fellowship, having come to know and learn about a people; but they wake up one day and suddenly feel that nothing actually binds them to these people, that they can leave here at once. They realize that another country, some other people, have now beguiled them, and that yesterday’s most riveting event now pales and loses all meaning and significance. For all intents and purposes, they do not grow attached to anything, do not put down deep roots. Their empathy is sincere, but superficial. If asked which of the countries they have visited they like best, they are embarrassed–they do not know how to answer. Which one? In a certain sense–all of them. There is something compelling about each. To which country would they like to return once more? Again, embarrassment–they had never asked themselves such a question. The one certainty is that they would like to be back on the road, going somewhere. To be on their way again–that is the dream.

Ryszard Kapuściński, Travels with Herodotus