Monday, March 19, 2012

Irish Blessings

Book Club friends  were decked out in GREEN and gathered for an Irish Breakfast this  morning at Julie's.
She loves EVERYTHING Irish. We had Irish bangers, Green Deviled Eggs, Irish Soda Bread, Fruit and Irish Breakfast tea. We read poems. Here is the one I love by Seamus Heaney: read by him

St. Kevin and the Blackbird

And then there was St Kevin and the blackbird.
The saint is kneeling, arms stretched out, inside
His cell, but the cell is narrow, so

One turned-up palm is out the window, stiff
As a crossbeam, when a blackbird lands
and Lays in it and settles down to nest.

Kevin feels the warm eggs, the small breast, the tucked
Neat head and claws and, finding himself linked
Into the network of eternal life,

Is moved to pity: now he must hold his hand
Like a branch out in the sun and rain for weeks
Until the young are hatched and fledged and flown.


And since the whole thing's imagined anyhow,
Imagine being Kevin. Which is he?
Self-forgetful or in agony all the time

From the neck on out down through his hurting forearms?
Are his fingers sleeping? Does he still feel his knees?
Or has the shut-eyed blank of underearth

Crept up through him? Is there distance in his head?
Alone and mirrored clear in Love's deep river,
'To labour and not to seek reward,' he prays,

A prayer his body makes entirely
For he has forgotten self, forgotten bird
And on the riverbank forgotten the river's name.

1 comment:

debbie bailey said...

I love how you post links on YouTube of poets reading their own works. I listened to this one listed which led to finding others such as T.S. Eliot and more Yeats. I could sit here all day listening!