Tuesday 14 December 2010

Mountains by Alice Oswald

Something is in the line and air along edges,
which is in woods when the leaf changes
and in the leaf-pattern's gives and gauges,
the water's tension upon ledges.
Something is taken up with entrances,
which turns the issue under bridges.
The moon is between places.
And outlet fills the space between two horses.

Look through a holey stone. Now put it down.
Something is twice as different. Something gone
accumulates a queerness. Be alone.
Something is side by side with anyone.

And certain evenings, something in the balance
falls to the dewpoint where our minds condense
and then inslides itself between moments
and spills the heart from its circumference;
and this is when the moon matchessly opens
and you can feel by instinct in the distance
the bigger mountains hidden by the mountains,
like intentions among suggestions.

***I don't know how Alice Oswald manages to be so good, to 'go so far, so fast,' as Plath puts it. This piece comes from her collection, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile. Read it and squeak.


  1. loved this. squoke mightily!

  2. Wow! She is amazing. Thanks for posting it here- I will have to get this book now! xx

  3. Thanks for your comments, chaps. Isn't she incredible.

    Have just noticed a typo: the last line of the first stanza should read, 'An outlet'.

    S x