“Postscript” #PoetryDayIreland

It’s #PoetryDayIreland today and in thinking about which Irish poet I would share with you, I went through my mental list of favourite Irish poems. So many to choose from, but in the end, there’s no contest.

Seamus Heaney’s Postscript means so much to me, particularly at this time of lockdown when I am craving the Wild Atlantic coast of the west of Ireland.

I’m thinking of the day last year that I drove with my friend Deirdre along the Wild Atlantic Way and we stopped off at the Flaggy Shore – and recited this very poem.   I dream of the day we can do this again – I hope it’s soon.

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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.

Seamus Heaney