Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Sunday Post.


Hullo ma wee blog,

This Sunday's post is;

Aunt Julia.

Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic
very loud and very fast.
I could not answer her-
I could not understand her.

She wore men's boots
when she wore any.
-I can see her strong foot,
stained with peat,
paddling with the treadle of the spinningwheel
while her right hand drew yarn
marvellously out of the air.

Hers was the only house
where I've lain at night
in the absolute darkness
of a box bed, listening to
crickets being friendly.

She was buckets
and water flouncing into them.
She was winds pourling wetly
around house ends.
She was brown eggs, black skirts
and a keeper of threepenny bits
in a teapot.

Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic
very loud and very fast.
By the time I had learned
a little she lay
silenced in  the absolute black
of a sandy grave
at Luskentyre. But I hear her still, welcoming me
with a seagulls voice
across a hundred yards
of peatscapes and lazybeds
and getting angry, getting angry
with so many questions
unanswered.

Norman MacCaig, March 1967.

5 comments:

Kat_RN said...

I like this one. It has a pleasant feel to it, and yet, it reminds us wistfully, to appreciate our own "Aunt Julia".
Kat

Alistair said...

I knw what you mean Kat. I agree. I particularly like the description of Aunt Julia too..... sparse yet more than enough to build a strong image in your mind.

dbs said...

Never silenced. I hope that's true for Gaelic.

Nicky said...

I like this one too! Such a fun one, and Aunt Julia does sound like quite the hoot in her men's boots!

Alistair said...

dbs - it's still hanging on. Lots has been done to try and improve access to it, especially for kids at school - but often not in its rightful place in the highlands but rather in the lowland where we have another endangered language that should be supported better.

Nicky - glad you enjoyed it too.

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