Monday, 17 March 2008

jim carruth

jim carruth really caught our attention with this poem about the spectre of foot and mouth in scotland's farming community. we had a blether later about the lack of scottish rural verse these days and poetry that concerned work in general. the structure he tells me reflects the rhythm of the milking machine, the poem written because his father asked him to. it's even better in the context of his othr work, which reflects his feeling towards the farming life and the cows. if ever i've read a poem that should be taught in scottish schools this is it.

Three Little Words

Fear the day
father and son
gather the flock
follow the herd
empty the fields
fill the shed
close the door
load the guns
again and again
until its done
carry the dead
build the pyre

watch the smoke
cover the land
mourn the loss
share the words
love and grief
pain and death
foot and mouth

3 comments:

Sorlil said...

that's great about the national gallery competition, congrats!!

Roxana Ghita said...

I like this very much. so powerful and simple. like an incantation.

swiss said...

it was good news but they never pick the things i think are the best!

yes, the poemis like an incantation, especially when he delivered it. there is a certain irony as iv;e been wanting o write a poem about cows for ages but i don't think i'll be able to compare with carruth!