A writer has traveled the island from top to bottom to write his latest collection of poetry.
Paul Quayle traveled from Ayre Point to the chasms throughout the past year to create âThe Narrow Road to the Deep South,â a collection of 23 haiku poems, which he published in October.
Inspired by the Japanese historical poet Basho, who created the art form of haiku in his book “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” Paul reversed the journey and traveled north to a place of emotional significance, visiting many of the island’s historic sites along the way and delivering fleeting moments to poetry.
Poems are featured, along with pieces detailing the history and significance of each place he visited.
âI undertook the trip in memory of a friend of mine, Roger Leece, who died in Les Gouffres a few years ago.
âAfter realizing that a big part of my goal for writing my next book was to visit the chasms, I reversed their title, making the trip south, as a sort of parody of Basho’s book,â said Paul.
âThe cover photo, by Janice Moss, turned the Isle of Man upside down and made me walk south.
âThis idea came from my former archeology professor, Dr Peter Davey, who always turned the map of the island upside down because he said that was how he saw it. When the Vikings, the Hebrides or elsewhere arrived, this is how they would see the island, landing in the north and venturing south.
Starting at the northernmost tip of the island, where he evocatively associates the mechanical lights of the lighthouse with a chance glimpse of a shooting star, Paul visited many sites, ending with a reflection on the circle. of Spanish Head stones and sinkholes.
Paul said he didn’t specifically write with his friend in mind, but he can see where he reflected on his grief after writing his poems.
âGrieving is a strange thing, I guess,â he said.
âThis trip was my way of handling it, but the grief arises unexpectedly.
“Sometimes it was there when I was outside and visiting places, but more often than not I was at home thinking about what I had seen.”
âThe idea of ââmy poetry is to really capture something, a timeless moment in three lines.
âI think of them as two images and it’s the space in between when your attention shifts from one thing to another.
âIt’s about being aware of having something happening in front of you and having the calm of mind to notice it.
âThis is when it becomes more obvious and it becomes poetic.
“Our minds are often too busy to notice things and I think that’s my way of trying to calm my mind.”
l The narrow road to the deep south is available at all local bookstores.
by Mike Wade
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