Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Robbins chooses O'Siochain

About Philippa Robbins

I was born in London in 1964. I am a painter and live and work in Wales.  My work is figurative. I'm working on still-lifes and landscape at the moment and am artist in residence on an architectural project in West Wales.
My website is www.philipparobbins.com and recently finished work and work in progress can also been seen on http://www.flickr.com/photos/philsr/.

About the poem

This is a poem written by Ruary O'Siochain and I first heard it, read by him, at his marriage last year to Kathrin.  It tells of their re-meeting early in their relationship after a  short spell of having not seen each other, neither of them certain that the other was still feeling the same as they had those few weeks earlier.

I find the poem has a quality to it like a classic old film--immediately familiar and unelaborate with separate focus on each little scene skirting the asking of the question. It's beautifully poignant and romantic, reserved and, in the telling, complete.

The poem


Later I drank
the most beautiful
Old Speckled Hen.

It was early May
in the Sunday park.
The east wind
kept isolate people
all moving
in the bright sunshine.

The tree we lay under 
was full of fresh leaves.
How many greens?
we asked, 
shimmering emerald
dancing to the brush
of a squirrel’s tail.

Winter is always long
and hard.
The deep barrier blue
now in place
above us, and you asked -
“Are we still all right,

 --Ruary O'Siochain

By permission of the poet


  1. The Ruary O'Siochain poem is lyrical and lovely in its visual richness. Leave it to a sensitive painter of figures and portraits to be moved by this.

    I was very moved by your portraits, myself. Your deft hand with color, form and edges is obvious. What is not so obvious is your delicate and seeing approach to painting who the people are. You communicate them as well as yourself in them.

  2. Reading the poetry was like walking through an English park on a pleasant sunday afternoon - therefor, wholly successful and brilliantly beautiful.
    Thank you for introducing me to Ruary O'Siochain, Philippa Robins!

    Your paintings seem dreamlike to me. The portraits all share a quality that makes me think of 'visual memories' and yet they are right there, in front of me! I love this quality.
    I was also struck by a similar quality in your other folders - particularly folder six.

    Marly and Philippa too, thank you for this wonderful blog posting!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it, Paul and Lynn!

    It has been suggested that a reminder is needed that one can post by choosing name/url (url not required) or Anonymous. And I'll try to act on that suggesting by adding something to the template.

    Thanks for the feedback--I'm still tinkering with the template and design, so feel free to make suggestions.

  4. Thank you Lynn and Paul for your lovely comments, I'm very pleased to have been able to introduce you to Ruary like this. And Marly, what an interesting idea, weaving artists together in this way!

  5. Philippa, thanks for participating, and I hope you had a grand time in Cornwall!