Saturday, August 31, 2013

Secular Mystic

In our secular age we still need priests and mystics. 'Experts' play the former role, poets the latter. Great poets, like great artists, give us food for the soul, turning plain words and paint into moments of delight and insight that go beyond mere understanding. Maurice Merleau-Ponty once observed that art doesn't just make us see, it makes us see through to a reality previously hidden in plain sight.

Seamus Heaney was a great artist and poet. Better still he was one of our own, speaking to us in the colonised language of Irish-English that still resonates uniquely with Irish souls. He was our secular mystic.

From Poor Women in a City Church:



Old dough-faced women with black shawls
Drawn down tight kneel in the stalls.
Cold yellow candle-tongues, blue flame
Mince and caper as whispered calls
Take wing up to the Holy Name.

A great soul has departed this world.


Image cred.: National Gallery



No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...