Seamus Heaney✝ 1939-2013

Heaney’s Nobel lecture, in which he offered insights into his poetry, can be viewed at YouTube http://youtu.be/P7KzfqtL5qY

EXPOSURE

It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.

A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite!
Instead, I walk through damp leaves,
Husks, the spent flukes of autumn,

Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.

How did I end up like this?
I often think of my friends’
Beautiful prismatic counselling
And the anvil brains of some who hate me

As I sit weighing and weighing
My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people?
For what is said behind-backs?

Rain comes down through the alders,
Its low conducive voices
Mutter about let-downs and erosions
And yet each drop recalls

The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer;
An inner émigré, a grown long-haired
And thoughtful; a wood-kerne

Escaped from the massacre,
Taking protective colouring
From bole and bark, feeling
Every wind that blows;

Who, blowing up these sparks
For their meagre heat, have missed
The once in a lifetime portent,
The comet’s pulsing rose.
(From “North”)

—————-

The main thing is to write

for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust

that imagines its haven like your hands at night

dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.

You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.

Take off from here. And don’t be so earnest.

(From “Station Island”)

___________________________

About YK 1965

Class of WYK1965 Microbiologist (Environmental Microbiology) Honorary Research Fellow Agriculture Canada, Ottawa
This entry was posted in Poems - All, Poems - English. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Seamus Heaney✝ 1939-2013

  1. Anthony Ho says:

    It is December in Wicklow:
    Alders dripping, birches
    Inheriting the last light,
    The ash tree cold to look at.

    A comet that was lost
    Should be visible at sunset,
    Those million tons of light
    Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

    And I sometimes see a falling star.

    The above lines are missing in the beginning.

  2. YK 1965 says:

    Thanks for catching the omitted lines, Mr. Ho. They are now filled in.

    YK

  3. Anthony Ho says:

    “My passport’s green. No glass of ours was ever raised to toast the queen.” _Seamus Heaney
    It reminds me that Fr. Mallin walks out of the school hall when God Save the Queen is being sung and everyone is standing up at a Speech Day with the Governor as the Guest of Honour.

  4. YK 1965 says:

    We may ponder on what makes one angry and defiant when subjected to aggression, imperialism or colonialism.

    Heaney has been dubbed “Irish poet of soil and strife”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/31/arts/seamus-heaney-acclaimed-irish-poet-dies-at-74.html?src=me&_r=0

    Here is a perceived learning from S Heaney regarding the art of writing:
    What Seamus Heaney Taught Me
    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/sep/01/what-seamus-heaney-taught-me/

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