Welcome to the blog of Melanie McDonald ! I'm a professional artist, my life is divided between my home in Newquay, Cornwall and my renovation project - an 18th Century farm - in North Brittany, France. My inspiration comes from the beautiful beaches, skies and seas of Cornwall, Brittany and Scotland. This is where I share my paintings and photographs, I hope it inspires you.

October 24, 2012

I Leave This at Your Ear

It was the last poem in the book of 101 Poems To Be Heard ....

I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
A creature in its abstract cage asleep.
Your dreams blindfold you by the light they make.

The owl called from the naked-woman tree
As I came down by the Kyle farm to hear
Your house silent by the speaking sea.

I have come late but I have come before
Later with slaked steps from stone to stone
To hope to find you listening for the door.

I stand in the ticking room.  My dear, I take
A moth kiss from your breath.  The shore gulls cry.
I leave this at your ear for when you wake.

By W.S.Graham

.... I was sure it was written in the Hebrides.  Your house silent by the speaking sea.  I imagined a painting by Winifred Nicholson and a man returning to Kyle farm, kissing a sleeping child.  Turns out it was written in another far flung Celtic outpost, Penwith in west Cornwall, and it's a love poem for his enduring wife.  But W. S. Graham was a Scot through and through, born in 1 Hope Street, a Glasgow tenement.  Somehow ending up in St. Ives in the 50's, in a creative hotbed of writers and painters.

I love this poem by this Scottish Cornish man.  Its ambiguity, its magical descriptions, its strong sense of Celtic hinterlands.  Its the feeling of isolation and dislocation, you see, which speaks to me, in my room, in remote Brittany.

Clouds Gathering, Southern Skye, Scotland

Distant Hills and Crofts, Southern Skye, Scotland (above)
Lone Croft, Southern Skye, Scotland (top)
101 Poems to Be Heard by Christopher Reid available from Amazon

Prints and Canvas Wrap Prints of the above paintings hand-made to order.

Please view my collection of paintings at Melanie McDonald Gallery

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