Mountains at Sea May 25, 2008Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
Tags: irish sea, poetry, seascapes, water
Mountains at Sea
by the Rambling Man
If each of your peaks was a mountain, or even a hill;
A rugged, growth covered peak where families brought their guests
to gaze at some city below;
Then it would surely be the grandest range there was to see. At sea.
If each of your peaks was a mountain, or even a slope;
That the sunlight dusting its top, might stay with for more than a moment,
as it moved through and away.
Then they would surely be the most sparkling slopes there were to see. At sea.
If each of your peaks was a man, or even a child;
Each man and each child, never knowing the same shape more than the once;
As they marched in and up and out and back again;
Then it would surely be the grandest race there ever was to see. At sea.
And if atop but one of your peaks stood me,
And gazed upon this range, this slope, this race;
As they flowed, never ending from where I am now to where I had been;
without stopping, even for a breath, however calm.
Then it is surely the grandest sight there is to see. My sea.
* Please excuse the abject sentimentality of this effort !
A Long Long Way May 19, 2008Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
Tags: 1916, Flanders, Sebastian Barry, World War One, writing
Gosh the bloggery rate has just been appalling of late … I just don’t have the time. But I shall persevere.
Anyhoo, thought I’d give some readers a heads up on something to read if they aren’t reading my blog. At the moment the young ‘un is at an age where her attention span is growing everyday and so can be plonked in front of a Winnie the Pooh DVD for an hour or so while the parents get some well earned sit down time.
And so it was that Sebastian Barry’s World War 1 novel, called “A Long Long Way” came into my hands – its a harrowing story (still only half way through) about a young Irish soldier in the trenches of Flanders. It switches between his experiences of war and his experiences of home and the ultimate dilemmas this causes him. When he is home on leave, the 1916 Rising kicks off and we get somewhat of a perspective of what it might have been like from the British side (“the British” in this case being heavily populated with Irishmen who happened to answer John Redmond’s call to volunteer for WW1). Some of the soldiers didn’t know what was going on – the reader is screaming at them going “It’s the Easter Rising silly !” but of course, the Easter Rising was an unknown event really until after it happened. “Are you a German ?” asks the books’ protagonist, after one of the Irish Volunteers had been shot in front of him … amazing they way we now know what went on and think that to the ordinary people the British were the agressors …
It also has connotations for today’s political situation – we think of 1916 as being this big uprising and the foundations of the state and so on … but was the story on the ground different in 1916 ? Was the uprising popular among the ordinary Dubliners ? This novel gives a different perspective – how history books can change the fundamental thoughts of a nation …
I’m not finished it yet but I can’t read it quick enough. Barry’s prose is amazing – the kid of writer you aspire to be. I can imagine an aspiring author reading prose such as his and then giving up writing completely – “That’s exactly how I wanted to say things like that” sort of a deal …