Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yeats Country: Rosses Point, Co. Sligo

Of the two main beaches in Sligo, Rosses Point is the closest to where I live. It is referenced in W.B. Yeats poem The Stolen Child, and one stanza in particular comes to mind whenever I go for a walk here:

(Click images to enlarge)

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand

In the summer when the sun does make an appearance, Rosses Point was my preferred beach for sun lounging. The sea here is much calmer, and if you walk to the end you can see Lissadell House across the bay. I remember when I was working at the Leonard Cohen concert in 2010, in the evening just looking across the water to see Rosses Point glowing in the moonlight, with Cohen's husky voice providing the backdrop to a memorable midsummer's evening.

Less bustling than Strandhill, it is more popular with dog walkers than surfers. The romantic in me endears me to Rosses Point, and I find it very restful sitting on a bench among the sand dunes when I feel like having some headspace. Maybe Yeats did the same. The artistic and mystic poet George 'Æ' Russell said to have witnessed mystical visions here on one of his summer visits with Willy Yeats. I'm not so sure about that, but Sligo can be magic, if you allow it to be.


  1. These are beautiful. I've always wanted to visit Ireland, but ran out of time when I was last in the UK :(

    1. there will be time! we'll still be here :)