Friday, August 25, 2017

Unpicking silence's voices

The Scottish sun, shocked by having its usual cloudy underpinnings stripped away, shone feverishly, embarrassed by its nakedness.
~Stuart Haddon

Although I didn't understand all the words in Anna Crowe's poem about longing for her Scottish home (e.g. "burn" refers to a "small stream; a brook"), I loved it immediately:

I have lost my bearings
by Anna Crowe

A fox barks and the door creaks
as though the wood
remembered the tree it once was.

I write this at a kitchen table
in the city, a plane passing
every minute, day and night.

It is time to go north. I want
to listen to silence and unpick its voices:
the wind that surges through pines...

read the rest here


Ms. Crowe also translates poems. One poem I will remember is a translation of Joan Margarit's Professor Bonaventura Bassegoda -- I wish I could link to it, but you will need to go to Tugs in the Fog to see it. That whole page is worth exploring. (The ending of A Secret History of Rhubarb is also a favorite...there are many to be had.)


Check it Out has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jone!


Jane @ said...

Oh, now I want to wander through the highlands! :)

Anonymous said...

It is quite lovely how it take the mundane and weaves it into magic. (I do love how that creaking door remembers that it used to be a tree. And unpicking voices...)

Irene Latham said...

Wood remembering the tree it once was! Love. And just the word "burn" itself and in this context. Thank you!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.
I'm delighted to discover this poet and that site... hoping to take the family to Scotland next summer! (I made everyone do DNA tests last Christmas & said we'd make some kind of ancestral trip next year if we can swing it. We are all apparently very British, some of us very Scottish and some very Irish - and, of course, a mix of the two. And Welsh, but might not be able to fit in this time. ;0) )

Diane Mayr said...

I want
to listen to silence and unpick its voices:

Love, love, love!

Rebecca Herzog said...

Thank you for sharing. I especially love the play of words with "barking" and the wood remembering its a tree. Scotland is on my bucket list for sure.

Brenda Harsham said...

Oh, now I am happily living in my memories of Scotland and my honeymoon. Sigh.

Linda B said...

I just returned from visiting my brother on his small farm, and we loved "listening to silence" that also held the Carolina wrens and cicadas. It's a beautiful poem that calls us to nature, Tabatha. Thank you!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I'd like a spare afternoon (and a ticket to Scotland) to unpick those "silent" voices, too. How lovely!

Liz Steinglass said...


Molly Hogan said...

Oh, this is wonderful! There's so much to love--"to listen to silence and unpick its voices", "the burn/that gurgles, chants or roars in spate." When I have a bit more time, I'm going to check out the page you linked. Thanks for introducing me to Anna Crowe and to this delightful poem.

Kay said...

This poem had me at "listen to the silence and unpack its voices." Between reading this and seeing the pictures from a friend who is currently traveling through Scotland, I think I need to go visit for myself! Oh well, I will just have to travel in my imagination.

Buffy Silverman said...

Oh I'm seeing bog cotton on the moorland...thank ye, bonny lass!

Violet Nesdoly said...

"A fox barks and the door creaks
as though the wood
remembered the tree it once was."

Wow! What an enticing invitation to enter a poem. Loved it! Now I must read more by this Scottish poet.

Mitchell Linda said...

Oh, that is beautiful....unpacking the voices of the silence. Scotland is on my bucket list. I really want to attend the international story telling gathering there. Now I must go find out secrets of rhubarb. Now that I live in a place it doesn't grow well I miss the stuff that I ate too much of as a child!

Mary Lee said...

Oh, yeah. I could use some quiet like that!

jone said...

I so want to visit Scotland. This poem confirms it.

michelle kogan said...

I think what I'm impressed most with in her poetry is the movement from what Anna Crowe begins with, where it travels and where it ends up at the end of the poems journey, amazing – especially the Rhubarb poem, thanks for sharing her with us Tabatha!