Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Day 411: Sunlight

 

This is a poem Heaney wrote in remembrance of his aunt. Again, note the wonderful rising and falling of the language, the metre and rhyme, and every word, as exact as a key in a lock - opening to a world of beauty and meaning. 

 

Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication - Seamus Heaney

 

for Mary Heaney 

 

I. Sunlight

 

There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed



in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall



of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the bakeboard,
the reddening stove



sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.



Now she dusts the board
with a goose's wing,

now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails



and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.



And here is love
like a tinsmith's scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.


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