Lovers On Aran By Seamus Heaney

Lovers On Aran The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass, Came dazzling around, into the rocks, Came glinting, sifting from the Americas To posess Aran….

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Blackberry-Picking By Seamus Heaney

Blackberry-Picking Late August, given heavy rain and sun For a full week, the blackberries would ripen. At first, just one, a glossy purple clot Among…

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The Early Purges By Seamus Heaney

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…

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Limbo By Seamus Heaney

Limbo Fishermen at Ballyshannon Netted an infant last night Along with the salmon. An illegitimate spawning, A small one thrown back To the waters. But…

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When All The Others Were Away At Mass By Seamus Heaney

‘When all the others were away at Mass’ [from Clearances in memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984] 3 When all the others were away at Mass I was…

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Bogland By Seamus Heaney

Bogland for T. P. Flanagan We have no prairies To slice a big sun at evening– Everywhere the eye concedes to Encrouching horizon, Is wooed…

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Strange Fruit By Seamus Heaney

Strange Fruit Here is the girl’s head like an exhumed gourd. Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth. They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair And…

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Keeping Going By Seamus Heaney

Keeping Going The piper coming from far away is you With a whitewash brush for a sporran Wobbling round you, a kitchen chair Upside down…

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Villanelle For An Anniversary By Seamus Heaney

Villanelle For An Anniversary A spirit moved. John Harvard walked the yard, The atom lay unsplit, the west unwon, The books stood open and the…

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Casualty By Seamus Heaney

Casualty I He would drink by himself And raise a weathered thumb Towards the high shelf, Calling another rum And blackcurrant, without Having to raise…

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Rite Of Spring By Seamus Heaney

Rite Of Spring So winter closed its fist And got it stuck in the pump. The plunger froze up a lump In its throat, ice…

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From The Frontier Of Writing By Seamus Heaney

From The Frontier Of Writing The tightness and the nilness round that space when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect its make…

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The Perch By Seamus Heaney

The Perch Perch on their water perch hung in the clear Bann River Near the clay bank in alder dapple and waver, Perch they called…

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Anahorish By Seamus Heaney

Anahorish My ‘place of clear water,’ the first hill in the world where springs washed into the shiny grass and darkened cobbles in the bed…

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Requiem For The Croppies By Seamus Heaney

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…

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Follower By Seamus Heaney

Follower My father worked with a horse-plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. The horse strained at…

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Twice Shy By Seamus Heaney

Twice Shy Her scarf a la Bardot, In suede flats for the walk, She came with me one evening For air and friendly talk. We…

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Anything Can Happen By Seamus Heaney

Anything Can Happen Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just…

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Postscript By Seamus Heaney

Postscript And some time make the time to drive out west Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore, In September or October, when the wind…

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Docker By Seamus Heaney

Docker There, in the corner, staring at his drink. The cap juts like a gantry’s crossbeam, Cowling plated forehead and sledgehead jaw. Speech is clamped…

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The Tollund Man By Seamus Heaney

The Tollund Man I Some day I will go to Aarhus To see his peat-brown head, The mild pods of his eye-lids, His pointed skin…

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A Suit By Seamus Heaney

A Suit ‘I’ll make you one,’ he said, ‘and balance it Perfectly on you.’ So I could almost feel The plumb line of the creased…

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Personal Helicon By Seamus Heaney

Personal Helicon for Michael Longley As a child, they could not keep me from wells And old pumps with buckets and windlasses. I loved the…

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Digging By Seamus Heaney

Digging Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun. Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade…

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The Otter By Seamus Heaney

The Otter When you plunged The light of Tuscany wavered And swung through the pool From top to bottom. I loved your wet head and…

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A Kite For Aibhín By Seamus Heaney

A Kite For Aibhín After ‘L’Aquilone’ by Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912) Air from another life and time and place, Pale blue heavenly air is supporting A…

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Oysters By Seamus Heaney

Oysters Our shells clacked on the plates. My tongue was a filling estuary, My palate hung with starlight: As I tasted the salty Pleiades Orion…

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Exposure By Seamus Heaney

Exposure It is December in Wicklow: Alders dripping, birches Inheriting the last light, The ash tree cold to look at. A comet that was lost…

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The Harvest Bow By Seamus Heaney

The Harvest Bow As you plaited the harvest bow You implicated the mellowed silence in you In wheat that does not rust But brightens as…

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Act Of Union By Seamus Heaney

Act Of Union I To-night, a first movement, a pulse, As if the rain in bogland gathered head To slip and flood: a bog-burst, A…

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Song By Seamus Heaney

Song A rowan like a lipsticked girl. Between the by-road and the main road Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance Stand off among…

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From Lightenings By Seamus Heaney

From Lightenings I Shifting brilliancies. Then winter light In a doorway, and on the stone doorstep A beggar shivering in silhouette. So the particular judgement…

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The Grauballe Man By Seamus Heaney

The Grauballe Man As if he had been poured in tar, he lies on a pillow of turf and seems to weep the black river…

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Mossbawn- Two Poems In Dedication By Seamus Heaney

Mossbawn- Two Poems In Dedication 1. Sunlight There was a sunlit absence. The helmeted pump in the yard heated its iron, water honeyed in the…

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Death Of A Naturalist By Seamus Heaney

Death Of A Naturalist All year the flax-dam festered in the heart Of the townland; green and heavy headed Flax had rotted there, weighted down…

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Testimony By Seamus Heaney

Testimony ‘We were killing pigs when the Yanks arrived. A Tuesday morning, sunlight and gutter-blood Outside the slaughter house. >From the main road They would…

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Mid-Term Break By Seamus Heaney

Mid-Term Break I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o’clock our neighbors drove me…

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Clearances By Seamus Heaney

Clearances In Memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984 She taught me what her uncle once taught her: How easily the biggest coal block split If you got the…

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Tankas For Toraiwa By Seamus Heaney

Tankas For Toraiwa I loved to carry Her violin case, its nose In air, its back end Nice and heavy, the balance Factored in and…

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Act of Union – Seamus Heaney

I To-night, a first movement, a pulse, As if the rain in bogland gathered head To slip and flood: a bog-burst, A gash breaking open…

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