Sunday, 10 April 2016
Dinah Hawken: The Question of Gulls
Answers are everywhere. The question could be simple,
it could be lying like air in the wing of a gull.
It could be lying like air in the bone of the wing of a gull,
or like the air the wing is lifted and held by
while the gull is lifting and lowering and lifting
its wings. It could be a question of wonder, of taking off,
a question of desire, a venture — it might not be
the gull, or wing, or even the air, not even a feather, it might
be the winging and the sheer momentum of
winging open eyed in open air over an ocean
From the sequence Coastal Revelations (2002). Both sides of the poem's image open out beautifully at the end. I wonder if there's a hidden joke in the question that "could be lying like air": does this play on the two different meanings of lying? I doubt it, but...