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 Post subject: RIP Seamus Heaney
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:54 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm
Posts: 8427
Location: Ireland
Probably the greatest Irish poet since Yeats died today.

Digging

By Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:09 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Location: Rivendell
He was an awesome poet.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Living in hope
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
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Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Beautiful. Not a wasted syllable.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Feeling grateful
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He also made probably the best available translation of Beowulf, at least until Tolkien's get's published.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:42 pm
Posts: 13623
Location: Rivendell
<goes off to check>

Yes! That is the version I have, and it is a great translation! I didn't even put two and two together. :doh:

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