Seamus Heaney

Did the poem and video below with many a class down the years. Loved it and loved his poetry.

“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 lightning 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”

I wonder how many people posting facebook/twitter stuff about his deatch actually own or have a read one of his poetry books

Read many yourself?

My favourite Seamus Heaney poem is Requiem for the Croppies. It’s absolutely magnificent.

"Requiem for the Croppies”
The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley…
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp…
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching… on the hike…
We found new tactics happening each day:
We’d cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until… on Vinegar Hill… the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August… the barley grew up out of our grave.

Be advised, my passport’s green,
No glass of ours was ever raised,
To toast the Queen.

Lovely tribute to the great man on the RTE news there. Well done RTE.

[quote=“balbec, post: 824133, member: 193”]Be advised, my passport’s green,
No glass of ours was ever raised,
To toast the Queen.[/quote]
:clap: Great quote.

Fintan O’Toole quoted this in the IT in his piece about Heaney, pretty much sums up a lot of our childhoods:
“Youngsters shouting their heads off in a field
As the light died and they kept on playing
Because by then they were playing in their heads…”

What a tremendous loss.

I always loved Heaney’s poetry it had none of the unnecessary complexity of other Poets, yet had a real depth to it.

From St. Kevin & the Blackbird:

And since the whole thing’s imagined anyhow,
Imagine being Kevin. Which is he?
Self-forgetful or in agony all the time

One from the Puke and other country types here, The Early Purges:

'I was six when I first saw kittens drown.
Dan Taggart pitched them, ‘the scraggy wee shits’,
Into a bucket; a frail metal sound,

Soft paws scraping like mad. But their tiny din
Was soon soused. They were slung on the snout
Of the pump and the water pumped in.

‘Sure, isn’t it better for them now?’ Dan said.
Like wet gloves they bobbed and shone till he sluiced
Them out on the dunghill, glossy and dead.

Suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung
Round the yard, watching the three sogged remains
Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung

Until I forgot them. But the fear came back
When Dan trapped big rats, snared rabbits, shot crows
Or, with a sickening tug, pulled old hens’ necks.

Still, living displaces false sentiments
And now, when shrill pups are prodded to drown
I just shrug, ‘Bloody pups’. It makes sense:

‘Prevention of cruelty’ talk cuts ice in town
Where they consider death unnatural
But on well-run farms pests have to be kept down.

Also Heaney is surely a cert to come up in the leaving now, jammy 6th years