Thumbing through Seamus Heaney's The Rattle Bag last night, reading poems to the girl to put her to sleep, I came across and read this one by Patrick Kavanagh that I hadn't read in years.
They laughed at one I loved-
The triangular hill that hung
Under the Big Forth. They said
That I was bounded by the whitethorn hedges
Of the little farm and did not know the world.
But I knew that love's doorway to life
Is the same doorway everywhere.
Ashamed of what I loved
I flung her from me and called her a ditch
Although she was smiling at me with violets.
But now I am back in her briary arms
The dew of an Indian Summer lies
On bleached potato-stalks
What age am I?
I do not know what age I am,
I am no mortal age;
I know nothing of women,
Nothing of cities,
I cannot die
Unless I walk outside these whitethorn hedges.
* * * * *
I found this photo of fields bounded by whitethorn hedges on flickr.
Eugene McGettrick, flickr
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