Saturday, February 18, 2012

Skirting landfall

          The Peninsula

               When you have nothing more to say, just drive
               For a day all around the peninsula.
               The sky is tall as over a runway,
               The land without marks, so you will not arrive

               But pass through, though always skirting landfall.
               At dusk, horizons drink down sea and hill,
               The ploughed field swallows the whitewashed gable
               And you're in the dark again. Now recall

               The glazed foreshore and silhouetted log.
               That rock where breakers shredded into rags,
               The leggy birds stilted on their own legs,
               Islands riding themselves out into the fog.

               And drive back home, still with nothing to say
               Except that now you will uncode all landscapes
               By this: things founded clean on their own shapes,
               Water and ground in their extremity. 

               Seamus Heaney 
                      from his collection Door Into The Dark


  1. Beautiful poem and pictures.

    Welcome back.

  2. Glorious images, Claire, so well matched with Heaney's poetry. Thanks.

  3. They speak to each other beautifully, Claire. Where are these photos taken?

  4. how lovely to see you. wonderful images so well married with the poem. xo

  5. Welcome back, Claire! You were very much missed! xo

  6. Finally! Glad to see you back.

    I've missed you.


  7. Peaceful and beautiful.
    Breathing ;)

    Welcome half-back.

  8. Claire, What a wonderful poem! I love the lines "At dusk, horizons drink down sea and hill,"--so apt to the Otago Peninsula , which I have been 'longing for' lately, although I'm sure heaney is referencing another peninsular.:) Good to have you back 'on blog' as well.

  9. Belo poema...Belas fotografias...Espectacular....

  10. Thank you so much for that.

    And for coming back.

    I love his work, and your photographs went with perfectly.



  11. Dear Kass, Elisabeth, Elizabeth, Angella, Melissa, Therese, Ant. C., Helen, Fernando & Tearful. Thank you for your friendship out here and for your very welcome Welcome (half-) Back.

    Onwards we go. . . happy to know we're still in it together, that there's room for coming and going.


  12. Hi Claire,

    Did enjoy this and it went so well with Seamus Heaney's poem. I reminded me so much of returning to NZ one evening past the Otago Peninsula with the shags arrowing in to land through the pastel light. Somewhat eye watering memories.

  13. Hi Barry - thanks for coming by.

    'the shags arrowing in to land'. . . love that! I enjoyed visiting your blog this morning, too.

    Do you know this Seamus Heaney line -

    'The sea is the land's edge also?'

    (It's somewhere in his collection 'The Spirit Level', I think.).