The elements I'm talking about are the elements you find the further west you go in Ireland....
Donegal and the roaring sea coming in from America...The Atlantic...
And the way it leads to poetry.
Well this is a very emotional week for us Irish.
From the era of post-Yeats when it seemed noone could surpass him and his mystical lines...
...suddenly came the farmer's son who gave us gave us earth...
...came Seamus Heaney....
... the digging...the tilling...the ploughing...the calloused hands that my father bore as he worked the soil when I was young....before my city mother persuaded him to give it up....
So first a Yeats gem....
TO A CHILD DANCING IN THE WIND
Dance there upon the shore;
what need have you to care
For wind or water's roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool's triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead.
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?
and then Heaney in all his honesty...
by Seamus Heaney
When you have nothing more to say, just drive
For a day all around the peninsula,
The sky is tall as over a runway,
The land without marks, so you will not arrive
But pass through, though always skirting landfall.
At dusk, horizons drink down sea and hill,
The ploughed field swallows the whitewashed gable
And you're in the dark again. Now recall
The glazed foreshore and silhoutted log.
That rock where breakers shredded into rags,
The leggy birds stilted on their own legs,
Islands riding themselves out into the fog.
And then drive back home, still with nothing to say
Except that now you will uncode all landscapes
By this; things founded clean on their own shapes
Water and ground in their extremity.
Muckross Rocks Donegal July 2013
I owe so much to these poets who encircled first my childhood ...and then my adult thinking.....