Pursuing Its Music

Great-Uncle Robbie's back garden

Great-Uncle Robbie’s back garden

20 June 2013
11:05 pm
Edinburgh

T. —

We went to go visit my grandfather’s brother today in the summer sunshine. This is the view from the balcony of his residence. He is usually quite a gruff man. It was nice to see him smile.

IMG_4909

*

“Man’s mind stretched to a new idea,
never goes back to its original dimensions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

*

This is the first Eamon Grennan poem I ever read. I fell in love with it.

Detail
Eamon Grennan

I was watching a robin fly after a finch — the smaller bird
chirping with excitement, the bigger, its breast blazing, silent
in light-winged earnest chase — when, out of nowhere
over the chimneys and the shivering front gardens,
flashes a sparrowhawk headlong, a light brown burn
scorching the air from which it simply plucks
like a ripe fruit the stopped robin, whose two or three
cheeps of terminal surprise twinkle in the silence
closing over the empty street when the birds have gone
about their own business, and I began to understand
how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small
elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth
strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

*

Goodnight,
M

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