Tuesday, 26 February 2013

the hills had new places

I find myself returning to memories of Spain.

This was the view from my bedroom.
It was in a small annexe
projecting from the hotel,
catching the wind from the mountains
which blew fiercest at night.

I was describing this to a colleague
and he quoted 'Wind' by Ted Hughes
"This house has been far out at sea all night"
and that is how it was.

This house has been far out at sea all night,
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet

Till day rose; then under an orange sky
The hills had new places, and wind wielded
Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.

At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as
The coal-house door. Once I looked up -
Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes
The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,

The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
At any second to bang and vanish with a flap;
The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house

Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
That any second would shatter it. Now deep
In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip
Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought,

Or each other. We watch the fire blazing,
And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,
Seeing the window tremble to come in,
Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.

Ted Hughes


  1. How beautiful - so very beautiful -

    Still here Alice - still reading - just quieter these days.


  2. Love this poem. Our house, being tall, catches the wind especially at night, and it is sometimes quite unnerving when you think our bedroom up under the eaves is just below the chimney. (A bit like sitting in Salisbury cathedral at a concert on a wild night and you try not to think about the enormous spire above you).

  3. Liz in Missouri (USA)February 26, 2013

    I think I may have lived in that house once - out in Montana where the wind never seems to stop.

  4. One of my very favourite of Ted's poems and Mary's the time I wake and think of it after one of our south westerly nights.

  5. Oh no...many's the time...flippin' iPad and now I have to go through the prove I am not a robot again...it is getting tougher, a sort of blurry photo of a number plus a word. Is it just me struggling with it??


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