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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Picturing the Self

Ever since reading Seamus Heaney's
                                        Two Stick Drawings
I've been wondering
                    about The True Extension of myself
or more precisely, how we all
have always been in search of it
                              perhaps unknowingly.
I felt my formerly unconscious goal
(partner to that higher goal
                    of Hugh MacDiarmid's
The Unconscious Goal of History)
click into place
                    like love at first sight.

Sea, pebble shore and salt-encrusted groine,
a path through woodland shade, a waterfall,
a weathered rock that stabs
a vast array of inner forms to life;
a limestone knucklebone, the moss
and algae patterning a tree:
somewhere among these images,
a host of possibilities,
vague plots of shared identities,
the larger selves of larger sympathies.

This much grows clearer to me now:
I will not find my image whole
and in one place and time,
but scattered
                    and fragmented,
crying out
              to be assembled bit by bit,
a Gormley Quantum Cloud of parts
not meant to fit together
                                  neatly.          Not designed
to do so, but
a Sainte-Victoire, solid as it ever was,
an edifice
              of liquid shapes
all the way from Cezanne's Eden          from a Paul Klee
               or a fugue transposed
to shimmer in the darkened light
              of Hugh MacDiarmid's Stony Limits,
his multitude of shades of grey          his many shapes,
his unity          intuited,
no more than that,
a unity possessed by man          who is its keeper
whose natural extension it becomes.

11 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

So very well crafted, dear sir.
I especially loved:
will not find my image whole
and in one place and time,
but scattered
and fragmented,
crying out
to be assembled bit by bit,

David Cranmer said...

Another fine poem, Dave.

Elisabeth said...

A wonderful piece, Dave. I never cease to be amazed by your ability with words and meanings, deeply felt and beautifully expressed.

Liz said...

You always make me think ... and that is a good thing. I really enjoyed this. Thank you.

anthonynorth said...

Wonderful words; to search for oneself using guides of those who search for their selves. A never ending quest, I think - which is maybe the point. As I see it, it's the journey that's important.

Hannah Stephenson said...

One of my favorites of yours in a while!! I loved this. "unity intuited," is a lovely and concentrated phrase, especially...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

This makes reflect, very engaging.
Which collection does "Two Stck Drawings" come from?

Gerry Snape said...

...a Gormley quantum cloud of parts
not meant to fit together neatly...brilliant!

Windsmoke. said...

We never stop searching for our oneself :-).

Rachel Fenton said...

The final doff of the hat should go to you, Dave - excellent poem.

Are you the same David King who's just come runner up in the Leaf poetry comp? Congratulations if so.

Dave King said...

Leatherdykeuk
Thank you for your kind remark. Much appreciated.

David
Thanks a lot.

Elisabeth
What lovely words of encouragement! Thank you so much for them.

Liz
And thank you so much for your generous reply.

anthonynorth
Yes, I am sure you are right in that. As so often, it is the journey that absolutely matters.

Hannah
A really gracious response which I value greatly. Thank you.

Tommaso
Thanks for this. It comes from The Spirit Level

Gerry
Much appreciate your comment. Thanks.

Windsmoke
True!

Rachel
Lovely comment. Thanks very much for it.

Not me, alas - it's a VERY common name!