Posted by: John Looker | 29 August, 2021

Rounding the Cape

This poem celebrates the perilous voyage that James Cook made sailing round Cape Horn into the Pacific – or, if you prefer, the universal and timeless courage of the human spirit as it ventures into the unknown.

The full poem has a further stanza. It is taken from Shimmering Horizons, my new poetry collection from Bennison Books which tackles the theme of the journey, the quest, the odyssey.

The passage above is an extract from Part V:

Each weekend for a few weeks I am posting something from successive Parts of the book and this selection can be seen as a whole on a page of my blog at

(It’s published by Bennison Books and may be ordered through Amazon at £3.99 in the UK, $4.99 in the USA, €4.99 in the eurozone and comparable prices elsewhere.)


  1. I really like the line “the westerly Winds drove us out to the Wide” and I feel a hint of impending danger in your word choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Brian. I greatly appreciated your comment. I felt myself the enormity of their resolve to push further and further south and west, out of the known and into the unknown.


  2. John, you have the skill of taking us there. I saw through the spyglass, I waited for the mist to lift! I look forward to further odysseys.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just one of our stand-out favourites from the collection here at Bennison Books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Bennison Books – you are such a great team! 🏅🏅🏅


  4. This is astoundingly well-written – as if you were there -and so your readers are pulled into the whole drama of sights and sounds


    • Thank you so much Laura. I found the voyage of James Cook utterly inspiring. It seemed like an archetypal journey, moving from eager anticipation through excitement and trials to near disaster and finally to a homecoming of triumph and sadness. I tried to bring this out in the suite of seven poems in the book: all highlights along that arc.
      And I see from your blog that you too know Aotearoa!


      • yes! And I brought a book of Cook’s voyagers back from NZ so share your enthusiasm

        Liked by 1 person

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