Thomas A Clark

Have you noticed Gerry’s stunning posts on Mull? In the posts Gerry quote several poets, amongst them Thomas A Clark, whose poems are exceptionally beautiful. Here is an excerpt from The Hundred Thousand Places, a single poem that travels across seasons, through a variety of Scottish highland and island landscapes, from dawn to dusk:

a wide stretch of sand

you walk out 
into space
as to
an appointment

with so much
space around you
drops from you

here is where
forward momentum
runs out in
pure extension

no longer
ahead of yourself
in imagination
nor behind yourself
pushing on

you walk
above yourself
space spreading round you
the sand
bearing your weight

– from Thomas A Clark, The Hundred Thousand Places

Here is what Gerry told me about Mr. Clark:
He’s a Scottish poet whose poetry ‘has been consistently attentive to form and to the experience of walking in the landscape, returning again and again to the lonely terrain of the Highlands and Islands’ (Scottish Poetry Library page, which has a brief bio and some poems: I guess some of these poems are inspired by the landscape around Pittenweem on the east coast where he now lives and works, but their beauty is that they speak of many places, outdoors, walking.
As far as I’m aware he’s published three books: Distance and Proximity (Pocketbooks) which contains his famous prose-poem ‘In Praise of Walking’ (now out of print and going for ferocious second-hand prices on Amazon), The Path to the Sea, and The Hundred Thousand Places (the latter two both in print and available on Amazon). 
Thank you so much Gerry for gorgeous pictures & texts from Mull, and for introducing me to the poems of Clark!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Harold Rhenisch says:

    Intriguing. Look how the poem proceeds through (largely) latinate English and then in the last stanza, just when it grounds out on the earth, it reverts to (largely) Anglo Saxon. That sure makes an intriguing spell.

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