Thursday 9 April 2015

H is for Heaney

Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize in 1995, and was a widely respected and well loved poet. He had been due to read at the Manchester Literature Festival in 2013 but unfortunately passed away only days before the reading. I reviewed his collection 'District and Circle' two years ago. This poem, however, comes, once again, from 'Staying Alive'. There is something essential about this poem, about the insignificance of the human being in the face of nature; he makes me want to go and experience it.


And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightening of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong- looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

(Linking back to the A to Z Challenge)

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