An extract from What is a Mountain

If pattern and order are artificial concepts the mind imposes on the unknowable given, then so is chaos.

Of course, identity is a construct, but it is also a process. To state baldly that national identity is a product of the 18th and 19th centuries is to confuse nation with nation-state. Or should we say to that unknown poet who wrote, about 600 years ago, ‘Ich am of Irlond’, sorry mate, you’re wrong, you’ll have to wait for the emergence of national self-consciousness?

Nationality, not nationalism: the latter an ideology slow to take hold in a country long influenced by the decentralised nature of Gaelic society, but inevitably fostered by the colonial experience.

A process unfolding over at least 5000 years. Flexible and absorptive; not the Celtic cliché of the official mythos, but an organic thing: shifting, changeable and real. Not essence but accidents. There are things we can know, but cannot explain.

(From one of the three prose sections of What is a Mountain that were omitted from Lares/Manes: Collected Poems. A few copies of the original Japanese-style hand-sewn first edition remain available from hardPressed poetry.)

Advertisements

Comments are good, please leave one.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s