Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Plath and the North country

Hadrian's Wall - Sewingshields Turret-60

"...There is no life higher than the grasstops
or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
pours by like destiny, bending
everything in one direction..."

I recently discovered Sylvia Plath's poem "Wuthering Heights." Go and read it.  I'll wait.

The poem appeared during some routine work at the computer on a slow Friday afternoon.  There was no warning.  I read the first line and stepped into Northumberland.  

The wind pulled at my clothes with insistent fingers as the sheep browsed and chatted with throaty bleats around the crumbling stones of Hadrian's Wall. The horizon kept going and going, even as it faded into the distance.  And above it all was the sky, vast and unending.  I felt ridiculously small and alone, pinned to the earth beneath the weight of the sky. It was exhilarating and unnerving.

Plath captures the brooding remoteness of England's northern country perfectly.

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