Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Michael Longley

The renowned Irish poet, Michael Longley, came for a visit this morning. He entered with a tweed coat upon his back and a scarf about his neck. His hair was bushy and white, reminiscent of Father Christmas. His belly spoke of life well enjoyed. He sat in our circle with half-rimmed spectacles perched upon his nose. His ordinary, conversational speech overflowed with profundity and poetic genius. I marveled at his wisdom and candid honesty. His spirit self-professedly lacks eternal security, however, never a more compassionate or sensitive man have I ever met. His poems speak of life-its beauties and horrors. He spoke of inspiration as "excitement and electricity" things needed for good poetry. I reveled in his experiences and advice. He said at one point: "poetry is my religion." This struck honestly within my heart, but saddened me simultaneously. He is a brilliant craftsmen-for that is what a poet is-a craftsmen, a priest, a maker. He beautifully said, "art (poetry in his case) makes up for only having one life." Living vicariously through ones art-pure brilliance. He talked about experiences being incomplete until written down and the need to allow those experiences first to settle and take root before recording them in words. "Old fashioned inspiration." Thus stands my muse...

1 comment:

Logan / Jon / Mandy said...


I was intrigued by your description of a night with Michael Longley--our group in summer 06 didn't have time to meet with him. I'm looking forward to talking to you about Ireland in January. Stop by CTH 212 when you get a chance!
Dr. Amanda Himes