WC Williams claims that so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow. but I say that so much depends upon tone and diction, as we see in the following poem from an esteemed, but probably underheralded, northern Irish poet, Derek Mahon. Mahon shares an educational and geographical backround with his more famous contemporary, but not a rural or Catholic background. And his poetry differs insofar as he treats his subjects with more of a classical distance than romantic attachment. One might ask, in reflecting on this poem, IS everything going to be all right? The rhyme and rhythm give it a nice roundedness, a wholeness and integrity, but do his words suggest doubts that unravel it (as Yeats might ask, does the center hold?)? Nonetheless it’s lovely, and certainly the kind of thing I was thinking as I sat alone at a sunny beach bar overlooking the Indian Ocean Saturday, watching the dazzling sunshine play across the walls of the balcony. -ed.
Everything Is Going to Be All RightHow should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.