Seamus Heaney ‘Postscript’
I am dedicating this week’s Mindful Monday post to the memory of Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s most beloved poet, who died on Friday and who will be buried today in Bellaghy Cemetery in Derry.
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 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.
oh those last two lines really got to me – RIP Seamus Heaney
May he rest in peace – hard to believe he is gone
Thank you for taking a moment to commemorate his life. Way back, in a different lifetime, I did a ‘junior paper’ in college on his work, and have always felt close ever since. His death brings to mind his poem Blackberry picking, which starts: “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. . .”, but ends–and these lines make me think of how he thought of death, and how, in reality, I hope it is much more peaceful for him. . .”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.”
But–so different from his metaphorical blackberries–Heaney has left us so much that will “keep”–forever–in the literary world.