Sugan -- (from current issue of Poetry London Subscribe!)
Ferns and foxgloves in a forged iron grate
They ditched last year: hedge-hobbed now, green-sleeved
In undergrowth where a knapsack-sprayer corrodes —
The cast-off ‘mankiller’ — and a rusted wire
Hook for twisting hay.
The fluster of that soft supply
And feed, handfuls coaxed from a ruck
Paid out to be taken in, in furl and swivel
Turning, tightening, rickety-rick,
To rope —
though just as often at the other end
I’d manipulate the hook,
Walking backwards, winding for all I was worth
By snag and by sag the long and the short of it
To make ends mesh,
in my left hand
The cored and threaded elderberry haft,
In my right the fashioned wire,
breeze on my back,
Sun in my face, a power to bind and loose
Eked out and into each last tug and lap.
Seamus Heaney was born in Co. Derry in 1939. His next collection, District and Circle, will be published by Faber in Autumn 2006. He received the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1995.
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