31 August 2013

Seamus Heaney: R.I.P.

The great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, died yesterday.  R.I.P.

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, Heaney's first book, The Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1965.

From the Glanmore Sonnets:

Thunderlight on the split logs: big raindrops   
At body heat and lush with omen
Spattering dark on the hatchet iron.
This morning when a magpie with jerky steps   
Inspected a horse asleep beside the wood   
I thought of dew on armour and carrion.
What would I meet, blood-boltered, on the road?   
How deep into the woodpile sat the toad?
What welters through this dark hush on the crops?   
Do you remember that pension in Les Landes   
Where the old one rocked and rocked and rocked   
A mongol in her lap, to little songs?   
Come to me quick, I am upstairs shaking.   
My all of you birchwood in lightning.

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  1. Anonymous6:35 PM

    This sonnet (those last two lines) was the one I remembered too, when I heard the news.


  2. Puri Tan9:28 AM

    "body heat and lush", not quite the words I want quoted by a pater.

    1. Quote them in context, please! Hardly sexy at all.

    2. Puri Tan1:34 PM

      But what about "blood-boltered...deep into the woodpile"? Shame on you!

    3. Ever heard of "projection"?

    4. Puri Tan1:17 AM

      "Projection" is derived from "projectile", a phallic and above all sexualistic word. What about it?

    5. I was using it in the psychological sense: the attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others as a naive or unconscious defense against anxiety or guilt.

      IOW, if you're seeing sex in that poem, it's coming from you, not Seamus.

    6. Puri Tan6:02 AM

      I was just about to comment on "a mongol in her lap" and connect it to a devouring Djingis Kahn... But you mean it is really just me that this is coming from? What you are saying is that everyone is NOT a sex crazed lunatic. Not even irish poets? Maybe I have some serious soul searching to do.

    7. Well, I can't speak to the sex-craziness of Irish poets or your own psyche, but this particular sonnet isn't about sex.

    8. Puri Tan9:14 AM

      I guess I'll have to take your word for it. Still not sure of this "come to me...upstairs shaking" part though...