A Shout-out for Columbus Day!

Would you recognize this as the portrait of an indigenous American woman? No?

But not for lack of trying — on the part of Christopher Columbus. There he was, three ships and all, looking for India — and he found us instead.

Although he didn’t know it, there being no road signs or GPS back in 1492; and so he solved the riddle of an unknown land to his own satisfaction, as recorded in this charmer of a poem by Ramon Montaigne:

Columbus sailed the ocean blue…

Columbus sailed the ocean blue
Back in 1492.
He sailed across and spotted land,
A beach, and people on the sand.

He called them Indians because
He had no idea where he was,
India was just a guess.
When in doubt, declare success.

Β –Ramon Montaigne

A philosophy, by the way, which I find immensely appealing! How about you?

Β 

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This entry was posted in Etcetera, Poetry, Wonderings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to A Shout-out for Columbus Day!

  1. Frank Bruder says:

    This takes me back to college, but not quite as far as 1492. When it came to preparing a paper, I dithered endlessly revising it. Minor revisions actually. I realized finally that I was on a road to nowhere so I stopped it and declared victory, and went to bed. And to you, JB, a Happy Columbus Day

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  2. Angelia Sims says:

    This is so cute! Love the photo of the indigenous American woman. She is awesome. Happy Columbus Day!

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  3. Claudia Shuster says:

    Wish I could embrace this philosophy but i guess I need more sense of certainty to feel successful (though politically it must be great!).

    Hoe you both are doing well! – Claudia

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  4. Marvelous! I had never read that poem before.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      I got the feeling he just wrote it the day before yesterday!
      Seriously, Montaigne’s poems appear sometimes on The Writer’s Almanac, which is a free daily publication well worth subscribing to for anyone who likes words and writing (you definitely are smack in that category πŸ˜‰

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  5. tms says:

    Great post and poem! I’ll try to remember that … when in doubt – wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing, Judith, as I only knew the first two lines and was not aware they were part of a larger poem.

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  6. 2e0mca says:

    LoL – Just as well he didn’t have GPS – goodness knows where he would have wound up! πŸ˜‰

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  7. mj says:

    OMG – “Mission Accomplished” braggadocio has a precedent from all the way back then – time to do some revisionist history here, for the sake of our kids!!

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  8. eof737 says:

    Happy Columbus Day to you too! I saw your comment on Cocomino’s post and wanted to come wish you well… I’ve been out of the loop too and working hard to catch up. Sending love, hugs and light your way. πŸ˜‰

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thank you very very much. It’s been a long tunnel, but I do believe we’re beginning to see the light at the end —
      All the wishes from wonderful visitors like you mean a great deal!

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  9. When in doubt, declare success. Reminds me of Mary Kay’s “Fake it till you make it”

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  10. I don’t know about you, but this philosophy would be make successful an awful lot! : )

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  11. Rebekah says:

    Words to live by, indeed!

    When you had Columbus Day, it was Thanksgiving here in Canada. I didn’t really celebrate it this year, with G. being away …only me and the cat here.

    Speaking of which; here’s a quote for cats: Β«When in doubt … Wash!Β» πŸ™‚

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