Sunday, April 5, 2009

National Poetry Month

I just read (via Twitter) that April is National Poetry month!  I love poetry but don't read it as much as I wished...  The same could be said of my reading, music, sports, etc...  

Anyway, since I now know that there is a whole month devoted to poetry lovers, I'm planning to make an effort to read more poems, at least for this month, and share them with you occasionally.  To start, here's one of my all-time favorites by Irish author Seamus Heaney.


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging.  I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper.  He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf.  Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.


Hi! My name is Janet. said...

we just got back! Luckily we were south of all the rain and storms, and had a great week of laying by the pool/beach and doing practically nothing :D

J. M. Richards said...

That's a good one! Maybe I'll steal your idea once more and post my own favorite poem...