Saturday 28 January 2012

The Dream of Ailsa Craig as a Concrete Poem

Ailsa Craig is a volcanic plug in the Firth of Clyde, off the Ayrshire coast where I holidayed in Girvan as a child. It's a beautiful green/grey rock which sometimes wears a hat, sometimes wears a skirt. For a while now I've been dreaming of Ailsa, not as memory, but in a more mysterious, perhaps symbolic, perhaps even revelatory way. It occured to me that She is a natural object of contemplation, whose beauty appeals to the human gaze and naturally touches the human heart. So perhaps, I thought, the dreams are speaking to that part of me which is contemplative; so the rock becomes a symbol of the Self immersed in awareness of Itself, a symbol of the meditative state. Seems plausible. Often the dreams involve images of multiple Ailsas arranged in hilly, rocky clumps along the horizon; often they are shadowed, dark, misty. Perhaps then these multiple Ailsas are symbols of the divided Self, fragmetation, parts of my psyche which aren't wholly integrated. Do I sound like a Jungian? Well, maybe I am.

The rock is of course a huge letter in the middle of the sea - a glorious 'e' surrounded by wind & waves. She tells tales of an ancient past in her curling outline and deep rooted plug. And an 'e' is of course wholly, logically geological. To me at least. In my dreams, where language is picture and picture is language. Dreams as concrete poetry!

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