As an afterword and for deeper background (pardon the pun) to the previous post on Heaney…from a very interesting blog
Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet who won The Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, died last week aged 74. His 1966 poems Death of a Naturalist give the essence of his early life tending the soil as a farmer’s son:
Between my fingers and my thumb, the squat pen rests
I’ll dig with it.
From then onwards he turned his art to the Irish landscape, its history and hardship.
Waterlogged valleys across Ireland since the last ice-age have formed thousands of raised bogs across the country. For centuries the dead vegetation accumulated in these bogs as peat, and this poor fuel became the main source of energy for the people of Heaney’s beloved Ireland.
We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn…
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