Richard Murphy RIP

statsman

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I'm hearing reports that the poet Richard Murphy has died, aged 90. No link yet. He'll be fondly remembered by lovers of poetry and of Connemara alike.


Later, I reach a room, where the moon stares
Through a cobwebbed window. The tide has ebbed,
Boats are careened in the harbour. Here is a bed.
 


Cruimh

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Richard Murphy (poet) - Ireland - Poetry International

RIP - beautiful writing.
Sailing to an Island


The boom above my knees lifts, and the boat
Drops, and the surge departs, departs, my cheek
Kissed and rejected, kissed, as the gaff sways
A tangent, cuts the infinite sky to red
Maps, and the mast draws eight and eight across
Measureless blue, the boatmen sing or sleep.
 

gatsbygirl20

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I'm hearing reports that the poet Richard Murphy has died, aged 90. No link yet. He'll be fondly remembered by lovers of poetry and of Connemara alike.
Indeed. He used to take visitors out on his boat as a treat

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath visited him when their marriage was falling apart and not long before Plath's death. Murphy's insight into Plath's state of mind and the wellspring of her talent make for interesting reading

He outlived them all
 

statsman

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Indeed. He used to take visitors out on his boat as a treat

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath visited him when their marriage was falling apart and not long before Plath's death. Murphy's insight into Plath's state of mind and the wellspring of her talent make for interesting reading

He outlived them all
Plath tried to seduce him didn't she?
 

Cruimh

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Love the Story in the IT about meeting Haughey and the Battle of Aughrim

Inside, they see a hand with a swan quill
That writes and writes, while powdered clerks translate,
Quoting with foreign voice the general’s will:


“Children, I bring from France no better aid
To toast the image-wreckers on hell fire
Than my own skill to lead your just crusade.


“It is your duty, since I wage this war
For your souls’ sake, to lose your flock, but win
A victory for your conscience and my honour”.
© 1968, Richard Murphy
From: Collected Poems
Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 2000
ISBN: 185235271x
 

gatsbygirl20

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Plath tried to seduce him didn't she?
Yes she was in bad shape. Hughes left to check out Thoor Ballylee leaving Plath and Murphy alone

On the other hand, this was a time when serious literary activity was considered a male preserve and Plath was terrified that when Hughes left her--and he was being líonised by the London literary establishment--that she would be sidelined as just another little versifying American housewife

So she was trying to find some substitute, perhaps

She died the year The Feminine Mystique was published. If she had held on, the rise in second wave feminism the Women's Press etc would have rescued her from the male literary establishment whose support was so vital for young writers
 
D

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Yes, he died there.
I had a great-aunt (grand-aunt?) who knew him quite well. She was a nun who was in a mission in Colombo when his father was the mayor there. She loved this poem of his:

THE READING LESSON
Fourteen years old, learning the alphabet,
He finds letters harder to catch than hares
Without a greyhound. Can’t I give him a dog
To track them down, or put them in a cage?
He’s caught in a trap, until I let him go,
Pinioned by “Don’t you want to learn to read?”
“I’ll be the same man whatever I do”.

He looks at the page as a mule balks at a gap
From which a goat may hobble out and bleat.
His eyes jink from a sentence like flushed snipe
Escaping shot. A sharp word, and he’ll mooch
Back to his piebald mare and bantam ****.
Our purpose is as tricky to retrieve
As mercury from a smashed thermometer.

“I’ll not read any more”. Should I give up?
His hands, long-fingered as a Celtic scribe’s,
Will grow callous, gathering sticks or scrap;
Exploring pockets of the horny drunk
Loiterers at the fairs, giving them lice.
A neighbour chuckles. “You can never tame
The wild duck: when his wings grow, he’ll fly off ”.

If books resembled roads, he’d quickly read:
But they’re small farms to him, fenced by the page,
Ploughed into lines, with letters drilled like oats:
A field of tasks he’ll always be outside.
If words were bank notes, he would filch a wad;
If they were pheasants, they’d be in his pot
For breakfast, or if wrens he’d make them king.
 

statsman

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I had a great-aunt (grand-aunt?) who knew him quite well. She was a nun who was in a mission in Colombo when his father was the mayor there. She loved this poem of his:
I'm fond of that one myself.
 

Cruimh

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And Seals at High Island.....

Seals at High Island
The calamity of seals begins with jaws.
Born in caverns that reverberate
With endless malice of the sea’s tongue
Clacking on shingle, they learn to bark back
In fear and sadness and celebration.
The ocean’s mouth opens forty feet wide
And closes on a morsel of their rock.

Swayed by the thrust and blackfall of the tide,
A dapped grey bull and a brindled cow
Copulate in the green water of cove.
I watch from a cliff-top, trying not to move.
Sometimes they sink and merge into black shoals;
Then rise for air, his muzzle on her neck,
Their winged feed intertwined as a fishtail.

She opens her fierce mouth like a scarlet flower
Full of white seeds; she holds it open long
At the sunburst in the music of their loving;
And cries a little. But I must remember
How far their feelings are from mine marooned.
If there are tears at this holy ceremony
Theirs are caused by brine and mine by breeze.

When the great bull withdraws his rod, it glows
Like a carnelian candle set in jade.
The cow ripples ashore to feed her calf;
While an old rival, eyeing the deed with hate,
Swims to attack the tired triumphant god.
They rear their heads above the boiling surf,
Their terrible jaws open, jetting blood.

At nightfall they haul out, and mourn the drowned,
Playing to the sea sadly their last quartet,
An improvised requiem that ravishes
Reason, while ripping scale up like a net:
Brings pity trembling down the rocky spine
Of headlands, till the bitter ocean’s tongue
Swells in their cove, and smothers their sweet song.
 

statsman

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There are few sights finer than to stand at the west end of Omey and look out across the ocean at High Island.
 

Fritzbox

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Yes she was in bad shape. Hughes left to check out Thoor Ballylee leaving Plath and Murphy alone

On the other hand, this was a time when serious literary activity was considered a male preserve and Plath was terrified that when Hughes left her--and he was being líonised by the London literary establishment--that she would be sidelined as just another little versifying American housewife

So she was trying to find some substitute, perhaps

She died the year The Feminine Mystique was published. If she had held on, the rise in second wave feminism the Women's Press etc would have rescued her from the male literary establishment whose support was so vital for young writers
This reads like an essay assignment handed by a student in the first year of a university Women's Studies degree course.
 

Mushroom

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It's a bit short for an essay, but I could try to expand it, I suppose...
No need, you have already posted some lyrical contributions to this thread.
 

Mushroom

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There are few sights finer than to stand at the west end of Omey and look out across the ocean at High Island.
As long as you don't get caught by the incoming tide! Happened to us once, so an unscheduled night in the Fiat Uno was required!
 


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