Friday, 8 November 2013

Ink close to his heart

Emigrants Leaving Ireland
by Henry Doyle, 1848.

"On a trip to Peebles before they left home, Walter bought himself a book to write in, but for several days he has found too much to pay attention to, and too little space or quiet on the deck, even to open it. He has a vial of ink, as well, held in a leather pouch and strapped to his chest under his shirt. This was the trick used by their cousin Jamie Hogg the poet, when he was out in the wilds of Nithsdale, watching the sheep. When a rhyme came on Jamie he would pull a wad of paper out of his breeks' pocket and uncork the ink which the heat of his heart had kept from freezing and write it all down, no matter where he was or in what weather."

Alice Munro, The View from Castle Rock, Kindle edition 2010.

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