A Poetic Road

Tramore-Waterford Road
Tramore-Waterford Road

I was driving home to Tramore from Waterford City (8 miles) this morning along a road that is beyond familiar to me and one that is steeped in memories, presentness, and probable tomorrows.

All the years, six abandoned cottages have caught my eye but I  jumped to attention in the last few days as there seems to be a lot of ‘clearing’ going on which makes me fear that there will be gaps where once there were places that made me ponder and wonder.

So, I took the time today to stop and take photographs of these reminders of times past.

The fact that it is National Poetry Day was another thought that was very much on my mind and I found myself re-visiting Michael Coady’s poem, Letting Go, which I wrote about a while back.

Here it is again:

Letting Go

I love the abandon
of abandoned things
the harmonium surrendering
in a churchyard in Aherlow,
the hearse resigned to nettles
behind a pub in Carna,
the tin dancehall possessed
by convolvulus in Kerry,
the living room that hosts
a tree in south Kilkenny.
I sense a rapture 
in deserted things
washed-out circus posters
derelict on gables,
lush forgotten sidings
of country railway stations,
bat droppings profilgate
on pew and font and lectern,
the wedding dress a dog 
has nosed from a dustbin.
I love the openness
of things no longer viable, 
I sense their shameless
slow unbuttoning;
the implicit nakedness
there for the taking,
the surrender to the dance
of breaking and creating.
(Michael Coady: from 20th Century Irish Poems selected by Michael Longley, 2002, Faber and Faber)

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Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

20 thoughts on “A Poetic Road”

  1. Looks like a nice driving road, i’m not a fan of highway… Great poem, Jean! I’m wondering what happened with the owners of those places, are they dead or are not any longer preocupied?

  2. Dana, it’s a gorgeous road, especially at this time of year when the trees are turning. The lovely thing about it is that it is the road from the oldest city in Ireland to the seaside town where I live ~ with its long sandy beach of 3.5 miles. I couldn’t and wouldn’t ask for more!

  3. “I sense their shameless slow unbuttoning…” has to be about the most poetic way of describing abandoned places that I have ever heard. I love abandoned buildings, bridges, the remnants of the past lives leaving little bits and pieces of themselves for us to ponder and wonder. Lovely post, and lovely pictures.

    1. Tric, thanks for writing. It was no big deal to stop and take the photos and, indeed, the closer I got to the cottages, the more the carved their way into my heart.

  4. Well done Jean on capturing the cottages for posterity. That poem is perfect for Ireland – so much abandoned and forgotten. But even in the modern era much of it seems to have been left alone to decay in dignity and leave us wondering.

    1. Thanks Roy. I just hope the gaps don’t happen overnight. It would seem so unnatural.Maybe someone will renovate at least some of them so they get whole new leases of life.

    1. Andrea, so glad you enjoyed the poem. Michael Coady is an Irish poet of considerable renown. He comes from Carrick-on-Suir, which is literally up river from Waterford City ~ next town up ~ to be precise!

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