by Seamus Heaney 1939-2013 He would drink by himself And raise a weathered thumb Towards the high shelf, Calling another rum And blackcurrant, without Having to raise his voice, Or order a quick stout By a lifting of the eyes And a discreet dumb-show Of pulling off the top; At closing time would go InContinue reading “Casualty”

Heaney: a taste of nature

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. Oysters 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 footContinue reading “Heaney: a taste of nature”

Two Lorries

by Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) It’s raining on black coal and warm, wet ashes There are tyre-marks in the yard, Agnew’s old lorry Has all its cribs down and Agnew the coalman With his Belfast accent’s sweet-talking my mother. Would she go to a film in Magherafelt? But it’s raining and he still has half hisContinue reading “Two Lorries”

Blackberry Picking

by Seamus Heaney (13 April 1939-30 August 2013) Late August, given heavy rain and sun For a full week, the blackberries would ripen. At first, just one, a glossy purple clot Among others, red, green, hard as a knot. You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet Like thickened wine: summer’s blood wasContinue reading “Blackberry Picking”