Floods and tides

Maybe it’s coincidence since we were talking about Shakespearean sonnets yesterday, but Jilly’s next (for me) Jim Harrison quote has a distinctly Shakespearean feel.

“There is a human wildness held beneath the skin that finds all barriers brutishly unbearable” Jim Harrison

“There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune” Shakespeare (Brutus).


To leap into the raging tide and risk the swell,

Or suffer the battering on the rocks, takes courage.

Perhaps, but what, dear Brutus, of the tide

That washes soft and sweet upon the strand,

And, with so little bombast fills the pools with glitter?

Wise men tug the coat sleeves of the fools,

Though not to stop them in their maddened flight.

But in their wake, the slipstream of their folly fly,

The path beat clear for the cunning and the keen.

Not wise men, angels, I hear you murmur—

Is that how you see yourself, Brutus,

As you stand so straight, your golden armour

Borrowing the splendor of the sun?

Give me the hungry and the lean,

For they know the price of courage, the toll of bravery.

I will take instead the hand of Cassius of my heart,

And lead him safe across the water,

Away from the shadow of such men

As the wide arch of the ranged empire call heroes.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

22 thoughts on “Floods and tides”

      1. I bet he would disagree with that, if not fall about laughing, but it’s true once his phraseology gets into the brain, it’s like an earworm, hard to change style 🙂

  1. My first response was, ‘Hot Damn!’ and then I pushed back from the laptop and stared at the ceiling. This is going to require many reads before it all sinks into my skin. I have taught JC many times over in my classroom, so you hooked me from the start. I have to let this one roll around in my head for a bit – back later.

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