Happy St. Paddy’s!!!

Here are my favourite Irish poems:

That Actor Kiss
by Michael Hartnett

I kissed my father as he lay in bed
in the ward. Nurses walked on soles of sleep
and old men argued with themselves all day.
The seven decades locked inside his head
congealed into a timeless leaking heap,
the painter lost his sense of all but grey.
That actor kiss fell down a shaft too deep
to send back echoes that I would have prized—
‘29 was’ 41 was ‘84,*
all one in his kaleidoscopic eyes
(he willed to me his bitterness and thirst,
his cold ability to close a door).
Later, over a drink, I realised
that was our last kiss and, alas, our first.

———————died 3 Oct 1984

Taken from Collected Poems 2001 Gallery Press- (Collection reprinted 2009)

*’29 year of death of Michael’s Grandfather- ’41 year of Michael’s birth- ’84 year of his fathers death.

‘When all the others were away at Mass’
by Seamus Heaney


When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.

From New Selected Poems 1966-1987 © Estate of Seamus Heaney

Leave a comment

Thoughts? Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: