An Ulster Twilight

A poet in his mid-forties revisits the lost domain of childhood at a festive time of year and confirms that the mystery of Christmas supersedes political boundaries. The speaker pictures the disorderly workshop of a local carpenter and its disparate contents: spare bulb … scatter of nails; wood sorted into lengths and sizes (shelved timber); light reflected on tools (glinting chisels); the accommodation is modestly built of corrugated iron. The carpenter concentrates on the task of smoothing the timber: Eric Dawson stoops to his plane. Time to complete his job is pressing: five o’clock on a Christmas Eve. The process is re-played before the watcher’s eyes: Carpenter’s pencil next followed by a series of tools and a final finishing touch: […]