Saturday, 21 March 2015

A Yeatsian Twist


I'm probably the only person around who hasn't got a picture of the eclipse.
I was in the woods with the Models at the time. It was mizzling and then it went dark - ish.
The dark didn't last as long as the mizzle actually.
Squinting up at the sky, I managed to blind myself with a fingernail, a crescent moon of white-hot sunlight.

Not that it shows in this photo.

Last time there was an eclipse, we were in the south of France and it was all much more dramatic.
The sky really did darken, birds rose screeching from the trees and the world seemed to go out of sync for several minutes, an untimely wind whipping out of nowhere to whirl briefly around the market square and cathedral tower in the town where we were shopping.

Today's event wasn't quite so cinematic, although the official pictures from elsewhere are rather amazing.
Watching them, a snatch of Yeats twisted in my head, describing the photos perfectly:
'The golden aura of the moon, the silver crescent of the sun...'

I daresay Yeats is groaning in his grave, but there you go.
As it happens, my son has the original, correct version of those lovely lines tattooed on his body.
I wonder if that would make yer one groan even more loudly, or would he be quite pleased?


  1. We were in Deal in Kent, with our feet almost in the English Channel, and the sky was so overcast we saw nothing. We did feel a slight change in the atmosphere and the light turned a yellowy grey but the sun and moon were well hidden. The last eclipse in 1999 (I think) was very different. I remember very clearly how cold and dark it became and the birds were silent. It was very eerie.

  2. You know what they say - Location, Location, Location! It obviously applies to everything!

  3. Didn't see the eclipse; Friday morning was grey and miserable, the afternoon was gorgeous.

    I used to read Yeats to my mother. The ones I loved the most were When You Are Old, and He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven.

    When I read them now, they bring back those hours of sitting with her, the poetry books between us.

  4. Hi Isobel - how are you? Those are two of my favourites as well, along with several others. Have you seen any of the Yeats poems on the Underground, put there as part of Yeats2015.
    It must be strange for you now, reading the poems again, seeing the pictures they conjure.

    1. I rarely use the underground so no, and they seem to have stopped putting poems on the buses. Strange yes, but also rather nice; a little secret warm feeling that somehow makes my mum still alive. I am surprised at the sharpness of loss I sometimes feel after nearly two years.
      We have our poetyry group on Thursday and the theme this month is women. The only poem I have decided on is When You Are Old.

  5. You set me thinking, Isobel - with your women and poetry. The other day I was reading a book I was given for Christmas, and two of the poems lingered afterwards, both about women.

    Hillside art

    Woman, 53, panting
    wears a blue plastic bag
    carries a chequered tweed knee-length coat
    last in style, summer 1994
    scales the hill at Connaughton Road car park, Sligo
    it's only a little hill -
    but still.

    Where has she been seen before? Was it
    in a Swedish pornographic film?
    Directed by a Marlboro chain smoker called Benny Bergstrom,
    who favoured black and white cinematography
    over large breasts.

    Woman, 53, panting
    it's only a little hill -
    but still.

    Liam Maloney

    And the other one:

    Good Faith

    She placed a teaspoon
    in a bright red envelope
    and dropped it into
    her local river,
    hoping that hope itself
    would activate, and
    happiness would come
    her way.

    She'd heard about it
    from a friend,
    who'd had it on good faith
    that it couldn't fail.

    She pauses every day
    on her way to town,
    willing her hope pack
    to shift from its watery perch,
    trapped behind a rock.

    Eamon O Cleirigh

  6. I like the second one best. I have spoons, but do I have a red envelope? If a drop a spoon in a red envelope into the Thames would my luck blossom in the North Sea?


Ah, go on! Make my day - leave a comment!