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Meditation on a view of the The Tholsel, Kilkenny

A villanelle inspired by the painting of Paul Henry, RHA

Firstly, let us consider the chosen point of view.

Rejecting the familiar the artists searching gaze led

him to the little known garden where poplars grew.

There he lingered a long while in the breeze,

eyes lifted up from the river’s leafy bank,

working in the cool shade of shimmering trees,

looking over high stone walls, none new,

all old, all grey, stone on stone leading upwards

where, framed by white clouds, by sky of soft blue

an octagonal tower sheathed in copper leaves

presents four clock faces to the people,

chiming out the hours in pleasant peals.

The visiting artist caught our familiar anew,

carrying his canvas down Horseleap Lane, long

vanished now, forgotten, remembered only by the few.

So my familiar seems exotic to you

as my exotic is your familiar too.

So your story helps me see and feel

that to others, my own is also real.