Tuesday, October 12, 2010



Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

(Carol Ann Duffy)

Saint Etienne - 'Finisterre' (2002)

(Thanks to Lee for inspiration with this - and to Greer for reminding me that we haven't had a 'perm' here for a while).


  1. I love the Shipping Forecast but only when Charlotte Green does it, she has a special way of saying Tyree failing (and it always is) that nobody else can do.

    When your snug in a caravan with the wind and rain battering outside in Ardnamurchan it is strangely soothing

    There is a good book called Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly.

  2. I wanted to post Charlotte Green reading it, but couldn't find a recording.

    I ken Ardnamurchan's dreich.

  3. You're getting the lingo, Mr H.

    As for Charlotte Green's voice, well . . .

  4. On the subject of Shipping Forecasts - apologies if I've mentioned this one before, but well worth a read if you haven't yet.

  5. Er, that's two of you then...

  6. I likes poems.

    Mary had a little skirt
    With splits right up the sides.
    And every time that Mary walked
    The boys could see her thighs.
    Mary had another skirt
    Twas split right up the front,
    ... But she never wore that one.

  7. Lovely. Meanwhile check out Rose Elinor Dougall's album. I'm in the middle of a post about it, but I think it is one you in particular will like. She could (whispers) be the new Harriet.

  8. You're very good at this blogging lark Davy. And Mr van Dyke's very good at the comment thing too.

  9. PS: Dear person hearing 'Finisterre' for the first time and thinking it's the best thing ever - let me know.

    I think it's the best thing ever.

    This house believes in skyscrapers.

  10. Well, that would be me. I downloaded it my last visit and have had it on repeat since. The poem was new to me too but I've yet to read one of hers I didn't like.

  11. It's a sonnet too. 'So tired of stupidity' x


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