Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Marches On...and so do I

The light is returning and so is the academic intensity. Excuse the blog laxness. I have several very good reasons for my absent-ness. I will elaborate on these later. The current most pressing excuse is an essay due next week--but due sooner for me because of Dear Friends who are coming to visit Thomas More and Myself!!! We are so very excited. And we pray for sun. And more snowdrops and winter aconite (the snowdrops are up! the winter aconites are Yellow! the sun doesn't go down until 6 PM! Is spring coming? ? ? ?)

I am writing a paper about metaphor, looking specifically at two poets, one of whom is George Mackay Brown. GMB lived almost his entire life in the Orkney Islands which are tiny and remote. He describes the people of Orkney as "fishermen with plows," but as you read his poetry you get the feeling that they are really Vikings in hiding, Vikings undergoing some sort of penance. The Last Vikings. For my post today I will include one short poems by GMB. The long poems are the best, in my opinion, but this is a lovely thing.

The Sea:
Four Elegies

The Lost

One stumbled on a grey hill, very steep.
On drank deeply, and found himself at a carousel of angels.
One whispered in the secretest cell of salt.
One (young) exchanged many untasted Aprils for a brief ecstasy.
One who had turned hundreds away from the door of The Salt
Mother knocked on her window that night, alone.
One wrote 'amen' on a spindrift page.
Were they offered for all seareft--piracy, pain of fish, the
black and gold cargoes?
A storm-ripened one went swiftly that March among
Sea-scythes, flails, winnowings.
After the third wave, the sea-querns had him.
The Atlantic was veined all summer with slow pure glitters.

****George Mackay Brown was a devout Catholic. He had a special devotion to St Magnus of Orkney, whose feast is on 16 April. I will try to remember to do a bit of a post on GMB and St. Magnus on that day!

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