‘The Poet’s Circuits’ , a poem by Padraic Colum (in dedication).

Mention has been made before on the Poethead blog of The Poet’s Circuits, Collected Poems of Ireland 

But I will mention them again anyway, for those readers who have an interest in Medieval Ireland, the Guild System, and in Colum’s editing of this beautiful book.

Here are the Poet’s Circuits :

  1. Circuit One: The House
  2. Circuit Two: Field and Road
  3. Circuit Three: Things More Ancient
  4. Circuit Four : The Glens
  5. Circuit Five:  The Town
  6. Circuit Six :  Women in the House
  7. Circuit Seven: People on the Road
  8. Circuit Eight: Monuments

I suppose it was incredibly disappointing to me and many others to realise, with all their high falutin’ that our government between 2001-2006, in their rush to manipulate the property bubble did not understand the cultural heritage of our natural and built environment. The Circuits indicate a closed Canton and Guild system that tied together a people with words and songs . Not the type of people who would drive a huge motorway through Tara for the fun of it.

This is Colum’s dedication to his wife and to the book. The other circuit (8) is searchable through the search engine at the top right of this blog page.

Mary Catherine Maguire Colum, by Padraic Colum

They come to it and take
Their cupfuls and palmfuls out of it ,
The well that’s marked for use and gossiping.

 
Who know
Whence come the waters? Through what passages
Beneath? From what high tors
Where forests are? Forests dripping rain,
Branches pouring to the ground, trunk, bark, roots
Letting their streamlets down? Through the earth’s dark
The water flows and finds a secret hollow.
Stones are around it and a thorn bush
And so the well is made familiar ,
Marked , used , resorted to day after day.

No users, gossipers, the half-moon above !
Come to the well, my own, my bright-haired one,
And let me hear
The rapture of your voice with some great line
Of verse your memory holds, the while your look
Ecstatic is your spirit is your spirit in your face,
And maybe in a depth below the depth
Touched by a pail, something desired will stir .
 

by Padraig Colum


  • The Poet’s Circuits , Collected Poems of Ireland. Centenary Edition
  • Preface by Benedict Kiely. Pardaic Colum. Dolmen Press, 1981.
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2 comments

  1. the beauty of this poem is intoxicatingly dizzying of the lovely aroma of the english land. the nicest poem i have read. words flowing like honey.

  2. Its a bleeding pity when our governments ride rough-shod through our maps and stories, Colum was reclaiming through word.

    We need governments who are not hide-bound upon rushing to destruction and who take the duty of preservation to heart.

    (rant over)


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