This re-blog is because I have just recommended the writings of Poet Richard Murphy to a friend in the U.S. Those who like Murphy will also enjoy his bio “The Kick” and his poems set around Mayo.
The other aspect of this poem is that the brief conversation was in relation not alone to Mayo but to the places In Ireland that attracted Ludwig Wittgenstein who Murphy eulogises here. There are Wittgenstein traces in certain parts of Ireland, his seat at the door of the Orchid House in the National Botanic Gardens, Rosroe which is beauteous, lonely and arid as well as areas of Wicklow (which I have not happened upon yet).
The link is attached at the base of this piece. Those readers interested in Plath and Hughes’ stay in Ireland might also like Murphy who was a close friend of Hughes and writes about them in ‘The Kick’
In Memory of Wittgenstein at Rosroe.
A solitary invalid in a fuchsia garden
Where time’s rain eroded the root since Eden,
He became for a tenebrous epoch the stone.
Here wisdom surrendered the don’s gown
Choosing for Cambridge, two deck chairs,
A kitchen table, undiluted sun.
He clipped with February shears the dead
Metaphysical foliage. Old, in fieldfares
fantasies rebelled though annihilated.
He was haunted by gulls beyond omega shade,
His nerve tormented by terrified knots
In Pin -feathered flesh. But all folly repeats
Is worth one snared robin his fingers untied.
he broke prisons, beginning with words,
And at last tamed, by talking, wild birds.
Through accident of place, now by belief
I follow his love which bird-handled thoughts
to grasp growth’s terror or death’s leaf.
He last on this savage promontory shored
His logical weapon. Genius stirred
A soaring intolerance to teach a blackbird.
So before alpha you may still hear sing
In the leaf-dark dusk some descended young
Who exalt the evening to a wordless song.
His wisdom widens: he becomes worlds
Where thoughts are wings. But at Rosroe hordes
of village cats have massacred his birds.
by Richard Murphy