Old maps and new

There are spaces still to be filled
before the map is completed –
though these days it’s only
in the explored territories
that men write, sadly,
Here live monsters.

Norman MacCaig – November 1970

The lonesome hawthorn

Advertisements

26 comments

  1. Tish Farrell · November 19, 2014

    What a beautiful, thought-provoking post, Robin. Having grown used to hideous road maps, it is good to remember that real maps are powerful things, mutable, and magical in their way. I love the spare silhouette.

    • northumbrianlight · November 19, 2014

      Many thanks Tish – I am still working my way through Norman MacCaig’s vast collection. I read these words the other day which put me in mind of recent horrific news stories.

  2. LaVagabonde · November 19, 2014

    Maps are works of art and soul. So many empty spaces in between places. Love that haunting photo.

    • northumbrianlight · November 19, 2014

      Many thanks Julie – puts me in mind of Josephine Hart’s opening lines to Damage (which I am over-fond of quoting) – “There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home”.

      • LaVagabonde · November 19, 2014

        That is just beautiful.

  3. Mélanie · November 20, 2014

    one word: excellent post… amicales pensées, Mélanie

  4. socialbridge · November 20, 2014

    This is breath-taking!

  5. restlessjo · November 26, 2014

    Extraordinary shot! Now I have to go and see the original, Robin. 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · November 26, 2014

      Many thanks Jo – I was in the attic skimming some old photo mags (as you do) and saw an image which inspired this. I am in catch-up mode at the moment. We had a long weekend at the narrowboat AGM followed by Motorcycle Live at the NEC – the beloved is very patient about such things 🙂

  6. Su Leslie · November 26, 2014

    Reblogged this on Zimmerbitch: age is just a (biggish) number and commented:
    Such a powerful sentiment; I couldn’t help but share it.

    • northumbrianlight · November 27, 2014

      Many thanks for the generous comment and especially the reblog – much appreciated. I wondered why more people were suddenly liking the post 🙂

      • Su Leslie · November 27, 2014

        No problem. I’d only recently discovered Norman McCaig, and it was such a nice coinicdence to read your post. 🙂

      • northumbrianlight · November 27, 2014

        Enjoy the discovery Su – I started with The Many Days and I am now reading my way through his complete collection at the rate of one per day. They shouldn’t be rushed.

  7. 2e0mca · November 26, 2014

    Monsters indeed! – great image and choice of poetry – very pointed in the verse!

    • northumbrianlight · November 27, 2014

      Many thanks – Norman MacCaig is a great source of inspiration

  8. littledogslaughed · November 26, 2014

    What a poignant image Robin-and I love the words-

    • northumbrianlight · November 27, 2014

      Many thanks Meg – the dispiriting thing is that the words could apply to any number of events around the world. The upside is that despite the constant stream of bad news from the news factories, we live in the safest, healthiest, best fed period in all history. All the best, R

  9. kiwiskan · November 26, 2014

    Love this

  10. M-R · November 26, 2014

    I know nothing of Norman MacCaig, now – but this ignorance won’t last.
    Thank-you.
    Su Leslie sent me, and I am grateful for that.

  11. Sreejith Nair · December 2, 2014

    This is an awesome post, the image, lines and the title…

    Leaving enough space for the reader to think and infer 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · December 2, 2014

      Sadly the message works whoever and wherever you are. Many thanks for your generous comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s