Archive for ‘Poetry’

April 24, 2013

“I must go down to the seas again…”

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I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

John Masefield

 

Photo: Long Strand, Co. Cork.

Nikon D7000, 35mm, f8, 1/500 sec, ISO 125

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July 19, 2012

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall, perhaps best described by W.B. Yeats in his poem “The Stolen Child”:

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star…

I remember years ago some of the instructors from the Activity Centre where Sonja and I worked abseiling down this waterfall – to me it looked like sheer madness but to them merely an afternoons entertainment!

Last week, we were up in Sligo for the New Wine Summer Conference – a truly remarkable, wonderful (and at times overwhelming experience).  As well as the conference it was good to catch up with old friends and to take a few photos…

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Photo Notes:
The picture above was a thirteen second exposure.  I wanted as long an exposure as possible to get the water to look like a veil, unfortunately though I had left my tripod behind in the boot of the car.  Thankfully there was a fence on which to rest the camera but the disadvantage of this was that I could not take the photo from the angle I wanted (hence some of the ‘plunge pool’ is missing) and it simply was not possible to hold the camera steady enough to get a high level of sharpness – all lessons learned for another time – oh and I needed a polarizing filter also, to cut down on the glare.

Larger version on Flickr here.

December 23, 2011

The Rose I have in mind … Happy Christmas!

Christmas Rose

As I was trying to take a photo of some roses that we have in a vase, with the Christmas tree lights in the background, somewhere in the back of my mind I was trying to remember the symbolism of the Rose with Christ at Christmas.  Later I did a search online and although not quite what I was looking for it’s close enough (I think) to what I had in mind.  It’s a beautiful 16th Century Carol, translated from the German “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”, which means “A rose has sprung up” and was translated as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.”

A very Merry Christmas to you – may it be a time of joy, peace, laughter and happiness.  God be with you and all those whom you love.

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to men a Saviour,
When halfspent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Link here.

October 19, 2011

Letting go…

I came across this wonderful sculpture on a recent walk around Bantry.  Nearby is a plaque which reads:

The Spirit of Love

In remembrance of those who lost their lives in the waters of Bantry Bay.

Peace, kind reader, do not cry
Nor pass not, pass not quickly by
Surely we shall meet again
No more to part, no more to die
Saviour of the mighty sea
Let us find repose in Thee.
(Written by Donal Fitzgerald)

Artist’s note

This sculpture expresses the compassion of the people of Bantry and Ireland for men, women and children of all races and creeds who lost their lives in this bay.

The two figures convey love, loss, anguish, forgiveness, peace, reaching, letting go…

Paddy Campbell, 2006

Hmm, two posts now about loss.  Sometimes people ask me how I cope with all the loss and pain I come across in visiting homes around the parish.  The answer is that I talk about it with God in the place of prayer, I talk about those aspects that are not confidential with my better half and usually in some kind of abstract way it comes out in this blog too…

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 15:57, NLT)

April 6, 2011

Early Spring

Lines Written in Early Spring, William Wordsworth (1798) (Link)

Early Sunday Morning 

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:–
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

November 11, 2010

Dulce et Decorum Est? (The old Lie)

We will remember them...

The poem of this name was one we had to learn in school.  The horrors of the first world war put to rest any ridiculous romantic notion of it being “Sweet and right to die for one’s country.” (Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.)

We will remember them…


Dulce et Decorum Est


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!---An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,---
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori
.


Wilfred Owen.

(See link for more on this poem).
January 29, 2009

Jaaaaannnnuuuaaarrryyyy………..

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“A January Scene”, Great Island, Co. Cork.
Panasonic LX 1, 1/1600 sec, f8, -0.66 EV, ISO 80, 45mm equivalent, (Click to enlarge)

January is such a loooooonnnng month. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark, the bank balance is the wrong side of zero – but apart from that it’s doable! We’re nearly there, we’ve made it, just two and a half days to go – and there are small signs of new life in the Garden with the hope of Spring not too far away…

Here’s a wonderful poem I found by a chap called Francis Duggan. (Duhallow is in North Cork, near Kanturk):

In January In Duhallow

The cold winds of January from the north east does blow
And the weather is cold quite cold enough for to snow
And the hungry birds silent on the naked hedgerow
In the flat and rushy fields where the Blackwater flow.

January in Duhallow from here far away
In the chill of the morning the frost bound fields gray
In the farmyard sheds cattle bellow for silage or hay
Where the sun seldom shines on a January day.

The distinctive harsh caws of the silver backed crow
In the Season where grass does refuse for to grow
And few cars on the roadway that leads to the town
Near where the river flows bank high in flood waters of brown.

In January in Duhallow the old fields looking bare
With the harsh chill of Winter in the cold Morning air
And at least eight long weeks till the first breath of Spring
When Nature will bloom and her wild birds will sing.

Francis Duggan
(LINK)