I'll end my brief meditations on MacCaig with this - one of his less well known poems, and one I absolutely love.Elemental you
As the rain makes
Blue gold-shines on the puddled mud at gates
And tinily trickles over small estates
And as the wind
Hullabaloos a tree against its will
To stop the nonsense of just standing still,
On any day
You, decorator and disturber, make
Me unexpected: my gray turns crimson lake,
My thoughts that are
Great liers on their backs get up and dance
And my face shines, though I lose countenance
Being forced to agree
Mud can be trampled bright and - look at me!
I can dance too, if only like a tree.
This is such a perfect poem, so up-beat, so simple - yet perhaps not quite as simple as it first appears. Who or what exactly is the 'elemental you'? The rain and the wind for sure - but it's also creative inspiration, isn't it? And something to do with the joy, and the transforming and transformative nature, of life and thought - a magic sourced in the natural, elemental world, and which comes to us unsolicited, like an act of grace (I'm reminded of D. H. Lawrence and his poem Song Of A Man Who Has Come Through with its line about 'the wind that blows through me'). But MacCaig puts all this across in the lightest, the wittiest and the most deftly underplayed of styles.
May all our muddy puddles be 'trampled bright', and may we all dance - in body and in thought - to our own tune. I certainly hope all my own days 'make me unexpected' - for therein lies the pulse and the thrill of life (or 'the throb and mewl of life' as The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe once wrote so memorably!)