Seamus and me

I share Heaney’s inner tensions sometimes. At the heart of his poetry is the conflict between speech and silence. His father was exceptionally taciturn, his mother, well, rather voluble.

Both standpoints can be justified. A man’s ‘yea’ being ‘yea’ is the archetype of silent strength, whereas women, proficient at multitasking, can effortlessly mend, clean, organise and set the nation to rights, additionally complaining about male monocular vision which of course is no longer necessary for food provision.

Thank God we can navigate better than they can.

From “Personal Helicon” by Seamus Heaney:

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,

To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring

Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme

To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

Marvellously wordless, after all….

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