Poetry Friday – White Hawthorn in the West of Ireland

I’ve been a little unwell lately, but I don’t want to miss Poetry Friday entirely.  Here’s my contribution, better late than never.

                    by Eavan Boland

I drove West
in the season between seasons.
I left behind suburban gardens.
Lawnmowers.  Small talk.

Under low skies, past splashes of coltsfoot,
I assumed
the hard shyness of Atlantic light
and the superstitious aura of hawthorn.

All I wanted then was to fill my arms with
sharp flowers,
to seem from a distance, to be part of
that ivory, downhill rush.  But I knew,

I had always known,
the custom was
not to touch hawthorn.
Not to bring it indoors for the sake of

the luck
such constraint would forfeit–
a child might die, perhaps, or an unexplained
fever speckle heifers.  So I left it

stirring on those hills
with a fluency
only water has.  And, like water, able
to redefine land.  And free to seem to be–

for anglers,
and for travellers astray in
the unmarked lights of a May dusk–
the only language spoken in those parts.


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4 Responses to Poetry Friday – White Hawthorn in the West of Ireland

  1. Mary Lee says:

    Beautiful! Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. Hope things are on the upswing now!

    • bookgetaway says:

      Thank you for commenting! Yes, I think I’m getting better at last. And I’m glad you liked the poem! Also, thank you for including me in Poetry Friday even though I was late.

  2. Sue Clarke says:

    Stumbled across your blog ( probably clicked on a link from Like Mother…) and wanted to thank you for posting this poem, I’ve never read it before and found it a pretty amazing bit of writing.

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