And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

søndag 23. februar 2014

Synge on the Aran

The Aran Islands, courtesy of this website
This evening I'm watching a Norwegian tv show about two men travelling around Ireland on a 10 euro budget. It's a very good show, and in the first episode they are briefly on the Aran Islands. The beauty of landscape made me think of Seamus Heaney's poem Synge on the Aran, a poem celebrating John Millington Synge's (1871-1909) stay on the Islands, which he chronicled in his famous book The Aran Islands. The poem is taken from this website.

The Aran coastline
Courtesy of Wikimedia
Synge on the Aran

Salt off the sea whets
the blades of four winds.
They peel acres of locked rock,
pare down a rind of shrivelled ground;
bull-noses are chiselled on cliffs.
Islanders too are for sculpting.
Note the pointed scowl,
the mouth carved as upturned anchor
and the polished head full of drownings.
There he comes now,
a hard pen scraping in his head;
the nib filed on salt wind
and dipped in the keening sea.

John Millington Synge
Courtesy of Wikimedia.

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