Everything is going to be alright

I completely agree with Josephine Hart that “poetry is the highest form of writing”, combining sense and sensibility with a musical awareness of the place of each word.

This is Derek Mahon’s Everything is going to be all right, which combines zest for life and serenity. On a day when I’m going looking forward to a late birthday dinner with a dear friend tomorrow I’m feeling that so long as I turn the news off, the title is definitely true.

How should I not be glad to contemplate

the clouds clearing beyond the former window

and a high tide reflected in the ceiling?

there will be dying, there will be dying,

but there is no need to go into that.

The poems flow from the hand unbidden

and the hidden source is the watchful heart.

The sun rises in spite of everything

and the far cities are beautiful and bright.

I lie here in a riot of sunlight

watching the day break and the clouds flying.

Everything is going to be alright.

By the way, I first read the Mahon in Rachel Kelly’s Black Rainbow, but for a regular lucky dip, Picador has a Friday mailing list to start your weekend early.

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