Sunday, September 6, 2009

Moonlight and Water

The just past full moon was lovely and cream-colored last night, and if I hadn't known it was officially full the day before, I would have thought it fully full last night.

Driving home with Anna last night, and with David and Anna the night before, I was treated to views of the moonlight in Casco Bay, from the bridge by Martin's Point, and elsewhere. These nights have been wonderfully clear for enjoying moonlight.

All of which has reminded me of a favorite poem by Seamus Heaney, which I've gone and looked up, because although I remember the first few lines, I can't quite remember the part where the full moon and water come in. I love this poem's loose conformity to sonnet form, the not quite rhyming "slant rhymes" and delightful linguistic rhythms. I have sometimes declared this to be my idea of a "perfect sonnet." As with most poetry, it's best savored if you read it aloud.

Here it is:

A Drink of Water

She came every morning to draw water
Like an old bat staggering up the field:
The pump's whooping cough, the bucket's clatter
And slow diminuendo as it filled,
Announced her. I recall
Her grey apron, the pocked white enamel
Of the brimming bucket, and the treble
Creak of her voice like the pump's handle.
Nights when a full moon lifted past her gable
It fell back through her window and would lie
Into the water set out on the table.
Where I have dipped to drink again, to be
Faithful to the admonishment on her cup,
Remember the Giver, fading off the lip.

from Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996, by Seamus Heaney


Anonymous said...

Sukie, I love anything about the moon. And I love the color you named it.

Sukie Curtis said...

I had to go back and look at what color I named it! :)

And I love that you see the same moon in Seattle as I do in Maine.