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Poetry Magnum Opus
FrasMac

Ailsa MacCaig

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Hi, not far from the island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde is a great volcanic plug formed from granite which goes by the name of Ailsa Craig. Most of the world's curling stones were at one time quarried from its heights. A poet who has had a great influence on me is Norman MacCaig, a Scotsman of whom Seamus Heaney once said, "He means poetry to me." I wrote this a couple of years ago as a kind of tribute to his enduring influence on the poetic landscape of Scotland.

Ailsa MacCaig

(for Norman MacCaig)

There’s a great stone edifice

in my view, most days.

Granite, full of curling stones

sent to polish my plain thinking. 

Their weight keeps my back

curved to their honed perfection,

their voice is like the wind,

sweeping constant, and then,

like mountains kissing.

 

When the Craig is clouded,

the day is dulled, like

my lesser mind.

 

7/12/15

 

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Aisla Craig.png Ailsa Craig

Hi Mac / Fraser,  I love this poem. It is clear, fluid with unique images and informing me of people and places with which I am not familiar.  Awesome!

Now I have to investigate a poet I've not heard of, I'm excited to discover.  

~~Tink

Ps... Yes, I remember, we have met before.  At this forum which do you prefer, Fraser or Mac?   

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Thanks Tink.

His "A Man in Assynt" is considered his magnum opus, but he wrote so many that are like living scenes even decades later. One of my favourites is "Stars and Planets"

http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poets/norman-maccaig

I'm easy with Fraser, Fras or Mac or anything really. Just no "z" or "i" in it, thanks!

 

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9 hours ago, FrasMac said:

Hi, not far from the island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde is a great volcanic plug formed from granite which goes by the name of Ailsa Craig. Most of the world's curling stones were at one time quarried from its heights. A poet who has had a great influence on me is Norman MacCaig, a Scotsman of whom Seamus Heaney once said, "He means poetry to me." I wrote this a couple of years ago as a kind of tribute to his enduring influence on the poetic landscape of Scotland.

Ailsa MacCaig

(for Norman MacCaig)

There’s a great stone edifice

in my view, most days.

Granite, full of curling stones

sent to polish my plain thinking. 

Their weight keeps my back......................................this took me away from the mind

curved to their honed perfection,......................a straightback rather than curved is the positive?

their voice is a wind.........................................................to cut the amount of like in the poem

sweeping constant, and then,

like mountains kissing................................................like that image, its drama and ambition

 

When the Craig is clouded,

the day is dulled, like

my lesser mind.

 

7/12/15

 

hi Fraser,

                 Enjoyed your poem. The connection with the curling stones was interesting. The thread to your own mindset worked. Not sure about building the poem on so much simile so made a suggestion there.

welcome to PMO

cheers

Phil

 

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Hi Phil, thanks for your considered input it is appreciated. 

The curved back is reference to the actions involved in the act of curling, which involves effort but is at the same time very studious, like reading fine writing. (in my mind, at least thats the image I was going for) 

Point taken on the wind, nowadays I try to avoid "like" more.

Thanks again!

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Quote

The curved back is reference to the actions involved in the act of curling, which involves effort but is at the same time very studious, like reading fine writing. (in my mind, at least thats the image I was going for) 

Interesting Fraser. Coming back to this I'm picking up on the shaping - stone edifice to curling stone to curler. Then there is the thread back to the origin with the wind and kissing mountains. My initial reading was directed to the mindset because of the conclusion. May be a thought to accentuate the positive and drop the concluding lesser mind lines.

Just a thought

Phil

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thank you Phil, I really appreciate the time you've taken over this one. I hope I can return the compliment.

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The last line... Excellent! Lesser mind, indeed. Enjoyed.

 

Many Thanks,

 

Dr. Con

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I enjoyed reading this fine work and the ensuing discussion. Thank you for both!

Tony 

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