Commissioned by the Olav H. Hauge Senterum in Ulvik, Norway, to produce an experimental film investigating Hauge’s life and work Alastair Cook selected six of Hauge’s shorter poems as a contiguous narrative for this filmpoem.
Old Davie still did much farm work by hand.
/ Tae thin neeps, ye gae up an doon thae rowse.
The ferm wis a peat shed, a stack o hackit kinnlin
The ferm wis reeshlin corn and a tattiebogle
The ferm wis buits lined up bi the lowe fur blaikin
The ferm wis washin skelpin in the win
Dense sensations inside a farm animal
At mutant scrapyards
MacKerral, that was one hard winter.
Your father died on the moor road,
his bag of meal buried under snows.
Death relieved him of his load.
If you suffer pain And you can’t stoop yourself for fear your spine, Stiffening under the strain, Will flex, with a jolt flex again Like the neck of a heron,Or a flamingo’s s of feather and flame swaying onIts stalk, or a mind goneSpiralling into itself like a dog’s digging up a bone Or trying […]
I remember once being shown the black bull
when a child at the farm for eggs and milk
small oats rye bere barley
ripe harvest in late summer
a shallow ploughing
grazing and fallow in rotation
Daytime an’ nicht,
Sun, wind an’ rain;
The lang, cauld licht
O’ the spring months again.
Ye’d wonder foo the seasons rin
This side o’ Tweed an’ Tyne;
The hairst’s awa’; October-month
Cam in a whilie syne,
But the stooks are oot in Scotland yet
There’s as mony turns to the plooman’s craft
/ As jags on a common thistle;
/ There’s fower lang seasons ‘tween field and laft,
Nineteen fifty six was a momentous year,
/ The year of Suez…