plough Monday

11 January, 2010

Towards the end of last year a sermon got me thinking about ploughing as a metaphor for various things… I can’t quite remember the order now but when I found out about Plough Monday marking the beginning of the agricultural year I decided it could be a nice conceit for an Advent poem though it’s more of a new year poem, really. Today is Plough Monday it’s always the first Monday after Epiphany and appropriately enough it’s the first day of term, too. So here it is:

Plough Monday

and celebration’s set aside again,
gives way to steady, head-down stamp and sigh
of turning up the earth, the year’s field
curving to meet a blank page of sky.

The broken soil clogs, then numbs, cold like steel.
But remember this as you walk the loam:
you’re hitched to an older beast, who knows his work; yield
to his pace as he pulls the plough to its mark – home.

It hasn’t been workshopped yet so no doubt this is an early draft and I’ll make some changes. But it kind of does what I wanted it to. It went out with my Christmas cards (what few I sent) – and hopefully people liked it.

So – new term, new year, new decade. I wish I felt more excited about all of the above, but to be honest I feel rather flat. Not particularly down, just not particularly up either; not especially engaged or full of enthusiasm (hah – in writing my poetics essay I’ve only just discovered the derivation of the word ‘enthusiasm’, which is to be possessed by a god, and so linked with ideas of inspiration). Hopefully that’ll change this week: my coursework’s nearly due and after that I can get stuck into this term’s workshop, and this term’s optional module, which I’m doing on fiction.

One Response to “plough Monday”

  1. […] from last term. I’m looking forward to it. I’m just about to send round three poems: my Plough Monday piece, a short piece called ‘Cam Ceiliog‘ and a sonnet about the Broderers’ Guild […]

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