This is a bit overdue, but a nonetheless heartfelt remembrance of a poet who deeply affected me.
“An Elegy to Seamus Heaney”
Blackberries grew there. My wife and I picked them
During our engagement. Their bushes drooped over
Barbed-wire. I felt that I was plucking muscle off
Some earthen animal. Behind the bush, to
Frogspawn in the misty field, this naturalist had died gut-first
Out of his schoolboy days. A foot for every year
Binds his wide-open box. A spade churns his word
Like an ox-drawn plow, entering
The vaporous earth through lichen and mineral.
Earth and loam grew over the glory,
Bodies, heads, limbs, traded in for the glory
Of lore and dampening: the after-death swim
Out of sight of land, the sea and soul one spirit.
All along the sea-course we will warm ourselves
With partnership and drink, keep the fire up
To forestall the naked ones out in the dark and deep.
Seamus Heaney, 1939 – 2013