Homage to St. Seamus

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.” Seamus Heaney

 

Advertisement

For years I’ve knelt at your holy wells
and envied the cut of your clean-edged song,
lay down in the bog where dead men dwell,
grieved with ghosts who told their wrongs.

Your consonants cleave my soft palate.
I taste their music and savor it long
past the last line of the taut sonnet,
its rhyming subtle, its accent strong.

And every poem speaks a sacrament,
blood of blessing, bread of the word,
feeding me full in language ancient
as Aran’s rock and St. Kevin’s birds.
English will never be the same.

To make it ours is why you came.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years 4 months ago

A lovely hommage to St. Seamus.  A lovely "tribute to the source" also as an echo of Robert Frost:


Never again would birds' song be the same;


And to do that to birds was why she came.

Angela O'Donnell
4 years 7 months ago

Thank you, Thomas Eichler, for picking up on the echo of Frost in the concluding couplet.  I take my cue from T.S. Eliot--"Good poets borrow, great poets steal."  Here's to literary thievery!

 

Advertisement

The latest from america

In “Sorry to Bother You,” the system’s greatest threat—literal ownership of your time and person—is also its promise of relief.
Eve TushnetJuly 17, 2018
St. Michael Cathedral in Tha Rae, Thailand (iStock photo)
During the cave crisis, at the Cathedral of Saint Michael in Thare, a small village located along Nonghan Lake in northeastern Thailand’s Isaan region, Catholics offered Mass and asked for the intervention of St. Michael the Archangel to protect the young men.
The Catholic Church has renewed efforts to fight racism in the U.S., but Black Lives Matter deserves credit for keeping our attention on racial justice.
Olga SeguraJuly 17, 2018
What can the church do to help repent for the sins of leaders like Cardinal McCarrick and all those who turned a blind eye to his wrongdoing?
The EditorsJuly 17, 2018