Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Sunday Post.


Hullo ma wee blog,

This weeks poem is;

Two Thieves. {1980}

At the Place For Pulling Up Boats,
{one word in Gaelic} the tide is full.
It seeps over the grass like a robber.
Which it is.

- For old Flora tells me,
That fifty yard stretch of gravel now under water
was, in her Grannies time, a smooth green sward
where the Duke Of Sutherland
turned his coach and four.

What an image of richness, a tiny pageantry
In this small dying place
Whose every house is now lived in
By the sad widow of a fine strong man.

There were fine strong men in the Dukes time.
He drove them to the shore. He drove them
to Canada. He gave no friendly thought to them
as he turned his coach and four
on the sweet green sward
by the Place for Pulling up Boats
where no boats are.

Norman MacCaig.


See you later........

7 comments:

Cevennenwolf said...

Have a nice weekend

dbs said...

Beauty. The tide, and time, is a robber indeed.

Big Swifty said...

I've been researching my May trip to the north west, and have been reading about the Duke of Sutherland's role in the clearances, so your posting was very timely for me. The whole story brings tears to my eyes, thinking of those ordinary people being treated that way.
By coincidence I was involved in a book/poetry event last night, and got chatting with an enthusiast (like myself) of Scottish and Irish history, and I picked up Duffy's book "the'45" which he very highly recommended. Some fun browsing coming up soon, methinks!

Alistair said...

There's a nice statue of the Duke of Sutherland on the hill above Golspie in Sutherland. It's dedicated to him by loyal tennants who probably hoped to sway him by their loyalty. {they didn't} poignantly he looks out with stony eyes over the empty land he created.

Tough stories indeed Swifty.

Seems like you really enjoy old McCaig dbs.

cheers again Cevennenwolf.

Big Swifty said...

I read in my Rough Guide to the Scottish Highlands (not the Alan Rough Guide!!!)that some people were suggesting tipping over the Sutherland monument and putting in a more appropriate memorial to the people.

Morning's Minion said...

"green sward"--what a lovely phrase!

Alistair said...

Swifty - Aye you're right. It's hated as a symbol of the clearances etc. And the comment I made above is wrong. The statue actually looks out to see from the hill above Golspie. Fittingly {typically} he has his back turned to the land he cleared.

MM - I agree.

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