Sunday, 4 May 2008

the shore

I take 'seaboard' (littoral, shore) to be particularly significant space. We are close there to the beginnings if life, we cannot but be aware there of primordial rhythms (tidal, meteorological). In that space, too, we have one foot, as it were, in humanity (inhabited, inscribed space) the other in the non-human cosmos (chaos-cosmos, chaosmos) - and I think it is vital important to keep that dialogue alive. It may be for reasons similar to those I have just evoked that in a text belonging to a tradition which I perhaps bear in my bones, an old Celtic text, 'The Talk of the Two Scholars' (Imacallam in da thuarad), we read: 'the shore was always a place of predilection for the poets'.

Kenneth White


Roxana said...

yes, how true this is - I've often thought about this, the significance of the shore as a threshold, its ambivalance. Bachelard has a wonderful essay on the importance of the living rhythms in our life, it is in the Dialectique de la duree, but it is too late now to dig up some quote...

billoo said...

Swiss, I thought you might be interested in these excerpts from Adam Nicolson (just scroll down to the bottom of the page).

the sea

On borders, your post reminded me of what Seamus Heaney says in 'somethign to write home about'.