Seamus Heaney

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Siren
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Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:51 pm Post

Very sad:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/a ... es-74-poet

I don't generally read much poetry, but I have been reading Seamus Heaney since studying "Blackberry-Picking" at school, and he will be missed.
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Hu
Hugh
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Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:56 pm Post

Siren wrote:.. and he will be missed.


Yes indeed. Too soon.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Sin
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Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:25 pm Post

His poetry linked history with the tumultuous times in Ireland. He will be remembered.

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vic-k
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Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:31 am Post

Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney

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 was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.


Sábháilte Turas Seamus
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

dr
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Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:55 pm Post

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other's work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives--
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.

Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013.
From "Clearances," in memory of his mother.