Sunday, 15 March 2015

Day 970: Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day so I thought this poem by Seamus Heaney - recent winner of the national poll for Ireland's favourite poem of the last 100 years in A Poem for Ireland  - would suit the day perfectly, being a tender love lyric from Heaney to his mother.

It also marks the start of my very own Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish week) here where I'll be posting a selection of Irish poets and poems all week (some from A Poem for Ireland) to coincide with St Patrick's Day and the national Seachtain na Gaeilge. 

*You can read more about A Poem for Ireland here:
*And to hear Seamus Heaney read this poem click: here

from Clearances - Seamus Heaney

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives –
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.


  1. I love poems that capture the most seemingly casual of moments and turn them into something else, something beautiful and meaningful, something very quietly intimate. Just lovely.

    1. I think you've encapsulated there Cheryl exactly why this poem won the poll! So simple yet profound too.


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