Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"The Living Branches Won't Let It Fall": Norman MacCaig And Patrick MacDonogh

We have had our usual share of wind storms this winter.  In the still-leafless woods that I pass through on my walks, fallen upper limbs lie cradled in the lower branches.  Norman MacCaig (1910-1996) has written of this.

               In Memoriam

On that stormy night
a top branch broke off
on the biggest tree in my garden.

It's still up there.  Though its leaves
are withered black among the green
the living branches
won't let it fall.

Norman MacCaig, Collected Poems (Chatto & Windus 1990).

MacCaig's poem brings to mind a poem by Patrick MacDonogh, a poem that I have posted before.  However, it is a good idea to circle back now and then.


This wind that howls about our roof tonight
And tears live branches screaming from great trees
Tomorrow may have scarcely strength to ruffle
The rabbit's back to silver in the sun.

Patrick MacDonogh, Poems (The Gallery Press 2001).

                         Edward Bawden, "Garden by Moonlight" (1954)

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