Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Train to Dublin

– Louis MacNeice

louis macneice
Nikon Fm2n
Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens
Kodak film

Our half-thought thoughts divide in sifted wisps
Against the basic facts repatterned without pause,
I can no more gather my mind up in my fist
Than the shadow of the smoke of this train upon the grass –
This is the way that animals’ lives pass.

The train’s rhythm never relents, the telephone posts
Go striding backwards like the legs of time to where
In a Georgian house you turn at the carpet’s edge
Turning a sentence while, outside my window here,
The smoke makes broken queries in the air.

The train keeps moving and the rain holds off,
I count the buttons on the seat, I hear a shell
Held hollow to the ear, the mere
Reiteration of integers, the bell
That tolls and tolls, the monotony of fear.

At times we are doctrinaire, at times we are frivolous,
Plastering over the cracks, a gesture making good,
But the strength of us does not come out of us.
It is we, I think, are the idols and it is God
Has set us up as men who are painted wood,

And the trains carry us about. But not consistently so,
For during a tiny portion of our lives we are not in trains,
The idol living for a moment, not muscle-bound
But walking freely through the slanting rain,
Its ankles wet, its grimace relaxed again.

Poem by : Louis MacNeice
Full version of the Poem

10 responses

  1. victoriaaphotography

    Great shot.
    (brings back memories of a steam train ride in Wales in 1978).

    April 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    • Hello Victoria,

      Very pleased you like this photo, thank you for your great comment!

      I think everyone should ride an old steam line, at least once! 🙂

      April 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

  2. noelgreene

    Lovey post. Brings back memories

    April 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    • Many thanks Noel, I am very please you enjoyed the image and the poem 🙂

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Nigel

      April 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

  3. Love it.

    April 14, 2013 at 10:09 pm

  4. One of my favourite Irish Poets. Do you know this one?

    “Bagpipe Music’

    It’s no go the merrygoround, it’s no go the rickshaw,
    All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
    Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
    Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.

    April 15, 2013 at 7:44 am

    • 🙂

      Louis MacNeice – Bagpipe Music

      It’s no go the merrygoround, it’s no go the rickshaw,
      All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
      Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
      Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.

      John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
      Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
      Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
      Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty.

      It’s no go the Yogi-Man, it’s no go Blavatsky,
      All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

      Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
      Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
      It’s no go your maidenheads, it’s no go your culture,
      All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture.

      The Laird o’ Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
      Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
      Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
      Said to the midwife ‘Take it away; I’m through with overproduction’.

      It’s no go the gossip column, it’s no go the Ceilidh,
      All we want is a mother’s help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

      Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn’t count the damage,
      Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
      His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
      Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

      It’s no go the Herring Board, it’s no go the Bible,
      All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

      It’s no go the picture palace, it’s no go the stadium,
      It’s no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
      It’s no go the Government grants, it’s no go the elections,
      Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

      It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet;
      Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
      The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
      But if you break the bloody glass you won’t hold up the weather.

      April 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

      • He certainly had a way with words – a storyteller through and through…

        April 16, 2013 at 7:38 am

  5. “…It is we, I think, are the idols and it is God
    Has set us up as men who are painted wood,…”
    Beautiful poem and photo

    April 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.