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The Long Voyage

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Not that the pines were darker there,   
nor mid-May dogwood brighter there,   
nor swifts more swift in summer air;
    it was my own country,

having its thunderclap of spring,   
its long midsummer ripening,   
its corn hoar-stiff at harvesting,
    almost like any country,

yet being mine; its face, its speech,   
its hills bent low within my reach,   
its river birch and upland beech
    were mine, of my own country.

Now the dark waters at the bow
fold back, like earth against the plow;   
foam brightens like the dogwood now
    at home, in my own country.

Malcolm Cowley, “The Long Voyage” from Blue Juniata: A Life. Copyright © 1985 by Malcolm Cowley. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Source: The Portable Malcolm Cowley (1990)

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This poem originally appeared in the October 1938 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Long Voyage

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