Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Seamus Heaney: "Postscript"

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

"Postscript" by Seamus Heaney. Text as published in The Spirit Level: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996).

My thanks to subscriber Monique Metzemaekers for suggesting this poem.

Art credit: "Postscript," text performed by Seamus Heaney, video by Cian Vaughan on Vimeo.


  1. I will most sorely miss this inspiring and magic-filled blog when it closes down. THANK YOU for all you've contributed ... so much joy and contemplation have come to me from visiting here. I for one, have appreciated all you've done.

    1. You're very welcome. Drawing the project to a close was a hard decision. I hope you'll continue to enjoy the project until the end. The website will remain up as a resource thereafter.


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