Tony Dermody wrote:
Over the past few days, some contributors have made attempts to engage with the tragedy of Omagh, only, apparently, to be rendered inarticulate by the enormity of it. I, too, feel that I should speak of it, and its effect on me. But I cannot. Frankly, I do not know how to say it, at all, in words.
& then found a way, thru the words of Dylan Thomas....
[snip "A Refusal to Mourn" & "Ceremony After a Fire Raid"]
words that made me sob out loud, as I had been unable to do. For which I am deeply grateful, Tony.
I too have been struck speechless. & I too can only quote another's words to say some part of what I cannot.
Musée de Beaux Arts
W. H. Auden: Collected Poems
About suffering they were never wrong,
the Old Masters: how well they understood
its human position; how it takes place
while someone else is eating, or opening a window, or just
walking dully along;
how, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
for the miraculous birth, there always must be
children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
on a pond at the edge of the wood:
they never forgot
that even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns
quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
but to him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
as it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
water; and the expensive, delicate ship that must have seen
something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.