Friday, October 04, 2013

Heaney Appreciation


We have no prairiesTo slice a big sun at evening--
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops' eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They've taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They'll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.

Isn't that lovely? Seamus Heaney wrote that. Heaney died  a few weeks ago and left a big hole in literary Ireland. On October 10th, Thursday next week, the Kansas City Irish Center is hosting "A Celebration for Seamus Heaney." There will be acoustic music as well as readings of Heaney's work by Joan Dean, John Kerrigan, Irish Fest director Stephen Dilks, Bridget Lowe and others. The event is hosted by Irish Center and Tom and Nancy Shawver of Bloomsday Books.

That's Thursday, October 10,  6:30-9 p.m. Come, raise a glass to Seamus, and find out why this Irishman was considered the best poet in the English language and won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The evening's festivities will include the aforementioned readings, guest speakers and personal reflections from those who knew and loved him. Of course, the pub will be open.

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