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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Letting Go

The concept of ‘letting go’ is one that has been very much on my mind, of late, but I have been thinking about it in relation to people, memories ~ things human, in other words ~ as opposed to inanimate things.

However, I seem to have been photographing a lot of  abandoned  ‘things’ of late and then today I was leafing through a wonderful collection of Irish Poems, selected by the great Michael Longley.  I was a little shocked, though I shouldn’t have been, to find that I had earmarked this  thought-provoking poem by Michael Coady, who is from Carrick-on-Suir, a town which has a foot in both Co. Tipperary and Co. Waterford.

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 profligate
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 of the taking,
the surrender to the dance
of breaking and creating.
 

(Michael Coady included in  20th-Century Irish Poems Selected by Michael Longley, 2002, Faber and Faber:London)

The most recent photograph of an ‘abandoned thing’ that I took was this seat at a falling-down thatched pub on the road between Michael Coady’s  Carrick-on-Suir and my home town of  Tramore. It has been haunting me as I would so love to know about the people who sat on it; the stories and gossip it heard …..

The Old Seat
The Old Seat

I’m beginning to wonder now if we can ever really separate ‘things’ from ‘people.’ What do you reckon?