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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  January 2008

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS January 2008

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Subject:

Re: Love Poems

From:

Desmond Swords <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Desmond Swords <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 28 Jan 2008 00:09:29 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)

I have not listened to the Longley piece, but have witnessed him in action
in Dublin, in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre in Foster Square, just off
Trinity Green, in the old parliament building, on a Friday afternoon,
1-130pm, in the well established and attended Out To Lunch reading series
John, McNamee, a legendary Dublin poet concocted to be, and which now occurs
in the Writers Centre on Parnell Square, just opposite the Garden of
Remembrance.

The most salient fact one takes away after encountering Longley in the
flesh, is one of pure humanity. He was a man first and there was no poetic
repelling shield of social invisibility which effected the witness in any
exclusive way; as he spoke plainly and immediately put people at ease by
puncturing any notion that he was a showboater here to pull a holy moly
vibe, go for a high priest at mass vibe, take advantage of his position in a
trinity of poets who exploded onto the scene after Philip Hobsbaum's Belfast
Group of young irish poets got splashed across the Guardian in a birthing
article from which the renaissance and re-appropriation of poetic gravity
back onto the eternal mystery and myth on a sweep and scale found only in
ancient literatures of the many heroic ages in dates of antiquity so great,
the living and dead commune and flit in shadows lit by the cultural
mirroring mind of an antithetical opposite self sprung from a well within
us, inherent gravitas one's publications bring with the figure of what is
now, a very normal Longley.

What really got him back after the 12 year block, was Achill island in the
west of Mayo, where the Atlantic brunt muscles its way into a topography
where one finds it very easy to grasp the reality of mythic life; such as
lived on this it's semi detached island on the westernmost tip of europe,
and where the urban sphere does not exist, for their is a gravity of silence
there, which is nature herself imposing a fundamental cognisance of
axiomatic physicality, in this kingdom of mountains and an invisible thread
of continuity so congruously of it's native self, that only the act of
experience can fully impress the majesty of this place. 

And if one is ever lucky enough to visit this place, they will immediately
grasp why Longley sprung new shoots and since then, remained unstopped, as a
direct result of location, the physical place is reached after a long drive
through the flat plain and bog of much of central ireland, and beyond the
coastal Nephin Beg mountain range, behind which, East, after one has crossed
and is on Achill island, is the dramatic backdrop to every sunrise which has
 occurred every day without interruption, and 200 generations ago, as the
archaeological evidence at Céide Fields proves, life was very much similar
to how it was 20 generations ago, buried under a 2000 year old bog, a
society preserved and only found in the 1970's, making us reappraise our
conjectural paradigms of what it all means? The sun rising in a purple gold
inferno:

CONNECTED

Walking a rhododendron-sheltered road
from McLoughlin's to the cottage
I became connected to a patchwork
of field, bog and peat smoke,
where even dead brown heads of wild rhubarb
fell into being with dog bark and bird call 
puncturing a silence wrapping the island 
completely; save for foam white horse-water
dancing at the Atlantic's eastern edge.
And calling to a half bright moon 
- as the ruby-pink finger of crimson cloud 
ringed atop of Slievemore mountain gently 
paled to white mist and disappeared 
into the ether that warm May night -
I felt the silken velvet light of Achill 
hold within its grasp, all the waves 
of time that ever broke upon the ridges 
of her nunatak mountains and wind-ravaged 
fir trees, always ever-blooming 
in a moment ever present no sweeping 
hand can measure;

silent in a tribal heart, beating 
its Bunacurry blood beneath a Beltaine moon
       

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