“build it well, to bury it well, and wait”: Four New Poems at the High Window

3 thoughts on ““build it well, to bury it well, and wait”: Four New Poems at the High Window”

  1. i remember the Pytheas poem, the first one, it was an early one you sent me (i think). But the others i don’t recognize. i can’t wait to get a copy. i am reading you more as a contemporary Wordsworth these days & i find the comparison striking. The good solid march of the lines, the strong clear language. The insights that settle so easily into the poems & the reader.
    i think when i get back to England, accompanied by Bone Antler Stone, i’ll take a trip to Orkney & live in your memory a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, i just read them again & i do recall the second Pytheas poem, him as almost a travel companion, manifest from the imagination into a character. i remember that envoi now, that

    and someday I would feel a spade on my skull,
    someday I would stand up and start singing,
    but until then I should love the loneliness and its lessons,
    and he bade me to build it well, to bury it well, and wait.

    which returns us to the reality which we have been off course with.

    i think i love your poems the more i read them. They have to grow on me, as i am unfamiliar with the histories & the land, even though it looks quite similar to England, i imagine. But i go away & read some more & come back & i am astonished by how you tailor the histories into something human, reliable & readable. & am stunned when line i pass over line like

    And seeing my slim book about him
    he smiled somehow to see his world reshaped,

    so simple i had missed them & in my scrabble for the odd, i have missed them. But i challenge myself through my admiration of you as a good man, to see again, for our sake.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve no idea what such comments mean to me. The Wordsworth comparison will be a blurb I live on for years, I may even get coffee mugs & tshirts with it. Seriously that’s an amazing thing to say, & that’s who “Walking Birsay to Swannay” hoped to nod to. I was terrified of sending out the Pytheas poems, I never did submit them; terribly personal & pseudo AngloSaxon, I worried they’d just seem earnest & maudlin, even tho they are the dead center heart of me. If you make it to Orkney with book in hand, I hope there’ll be some DPM responses also in verse. That’s a great image, you wandering the old stones with the book.


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