Wednesday, 16 January 2008

meg bateman

i'm currently delighted with meg bateman's soirbheas. i particularly like this, which should, it seems to me, be familiar to anyone who grew up on an island and is mystified as much by what the town dwellers say about our place of origin as those we might have become had we stayed.

Elgol: Two Views

I looked at the old post card,
the houses like a growth from the soil,
the peaks towering above them,
a sign of the majesty of God,
before an amenity was made of mountains,
or a divide between work and play,
between the sacred and the secular ...
and I passed the picture to the old man.

'Does it make you sad, Lachie?' I asked
as he scrutinised it in silence.
'Sad? Bah! Not at all!
I just couldn't place her for a moment,'
and he pointed to a cow in the foreground.
'That's Yellow Lady, Red Lady's second calf -
I'd know any cow you see,
that belonged here in my lifetime.'

trans from Ealaghol: Da Shealladh by the author

what does elgol look like? something like that, except you can't see all the tourists. or the village


Sorlil said...

ok the last few poems have sold it to me, I went out and bought her book today. I guess that blows wendy cope's theory out of the water!

swiss said...

great! i'm really curious how you'll respond to it. we must compare notes

Anonymous said...

is this where the sock puppets broadcast from?

swiss said...

it is where the sock puppets broadcast from. and it's just up the road from balamory!