Saturday, 11 April 2015

J is for Joyful...and Journeys....and Jong

 Jong, Erica ( 1942- )

Erica Jong is an American writer, poet and teacher known for her controversial novel Fear of Flying. She is one of the pioneers who explored and wrote frankly about female sexuality, turning conventional notions on their head.  Apart from writing award winning fiction, she has also won awards for her poetry.  The prompt for this post is her poem By Train from Berlin.

And the response:
By Train from Machhpara

The difference was epic, the borders hardened
even as they crossed the last railway station;
the trees must have closed ranks in a second
with a helpless sigh.  Behind them a nation

was being formed, new walls replacing the old
rivers changing course, lakes muddied, bloodied,
throbs of air, earth, you know how births unfold,
only they were unaware where this would lead. 

No papers, no evidence of the lands
they were part of, who needs that kind of proof?
who carries it? except in the way he stands
planted in his own earth under his own roof.

A stopgap trip, two hundred miles, and short.
Behind them home. And returns only with a passport.

I completely love train Journeys! Not the forced ones, of course, like the refugees in the poem, but thankfully that kind of journey has not happened to me yet. Though I am aware that everyday many millions are still making these kind of trips, and not even one person should be.

What is your favourite form of travel? Have you ever taken a trip against your wishes?

Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015


  1. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge 2015!
    Great post. I'm following you on your listed social media sites.

    Interesting. I haven't read the Fear of Flying book. Maybe I'll check that out.

  2. Hi Nila - thank goodness for people like Erica Jong, I too should read the Fear of FLying. Re travel - by train is ok .. but you don't have flexibility at the other end; going to London means a train; going anywhere else around England .. I'd rather go by car - then I've got my own time frame.

    Though I did see a tv programme last night on a cattle truck journey across Namibia .. I get nostalgic when I see the country! Takes me back .. cheers Hilary

  3. Lakes muddied, bloodied - powerful.
    I like train travel. Leave the driving to someone else and enjoy the sights.

  4. Train trips. Now on my bucket list... again. I don't know why I keep putting them off.
    As I See It Daily

  5. Train trips, as you know from visiting my blog, are my favorite. I also enjoy a good road trip via 4 wheel vehicle.

    Wonderful imagery in that poem. And, no, not one person should ever have to endure a forced trip of any kind unless they've been legitimately convicted of a legitimate crime and are on their way to pay their just penance.

    Jean, back from the Grand Tour and visiting for the A-Z Challenge from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer Number 209 on the A-Z List.

    Jean Schara
    Blackbirds First Flight (Quin)
    Blackbirds Second Flight (Glaring Upheaval and Fluffy Malone)

  6. Your blog is a lovely surprise while visiting during the #Challenge. Congratulations on a wonderful theme and presentation. I always look for fellow writers first. Hope you have a minute to stop by my garden gate/

  7. A trip against my will? Hmmm, no, not unless you count 33 years of driving back and forth to work. But in the sense you mean, no, fortunately not. I'm glad I read this before my own train trip, coming up in a few weeks. Glad I found your blog, too, and thanks for visiting mine!


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