Sunday, 23 September 2007

Another assignment to mull over....Iain Crichton Smith

Here's something weightier to play with - a beautiful poem by Iain Crichton Smith, followed by an interpretation of the poem written by Colette Bryce ( I am not keen on Colette's version - but it's useful to see what she has done I suppose).

You Are at the Bottom of My Mind
(from the Gaelic)

Without my knowing it you are at the bottom of my mind
like a visitor to the bottom of the sea
with his helmet and his two large eyes,
and I do not rightly know your appearance or your manner
after five years of showers
of time pouring between me and you:

nameless mountains of water pouring
between me hauling you on board
and your appearance and manner in my weak hands.
You went astray
among the mysterious plants of the sea-bed
in the green half-light without love,

and you will never rise to the surface
though my hands are hauling ceaselessly,
and I do not know your way at all,
you in the half-light of your sleep
haunting the bed of the sea without ceasing
and I hauling and hauling on the surface.

Iain Crichton Smith

Song for a Stone
(after Iain Crichton Smith)

You are at the bottom of my mind
like a stone dropped once by chance in a pool
to the black belied
by a surface ruled
by a total reflection of sky.

I do not have the know of your want or why,
I do not have the know of your way.
I have only the flow
of the come what may
in the light to the front of my liquid eye.

But you have put a sadness in the blue-
green waters of my mind
for as long as we both may live.

For your time is not of the colour of mine
and the name that is on you cannot be written
over these lips in love.

Colette Bryce.


bahookiebloo said...

I think they are both very fascinating, Colette's too until the penultimate verse. She reads his poem in a completely unexpected way for me - did you all find that?

I will try a pale wet copy!

bahookiebloo said...

This is a 2nd comment...

I think Iain Crichton Smith's is a fantastic poem