Seamus Heaney could turn a moment’s thought into a naturalistic poem of pure joy. He may be an acquired taste but he’s worth it.
by Seamus Heaney/
Our shells clacked on the plates, My tongue was a filling estuary, My palate hung with starlight: As I tasted the salty Pleiades Orion dipped his foot into the water. Alive and violated, They lay on their bed of ice: Bivalves: the split bulb And philandering sigh of ocean Millions of them ripped and Shucked and scattered. We had driven to that coast Through flowers and limestone And there we were, toasting friendship, Laying down a perfect memory In the cool of thatch and crockery. Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow, The Roman's hauled their oysters south to Rome: I saw damp panniers disgorge The frond-lipped, brine-stung Glut of privilege And was angry that my trust could not repose In the clear light, like poetry or freedom Leaning in fom the sea. I ate the day Deliberately, that its tang Might quicken me all into verb, Pure verb.