LINES ON THE AWARDING OF A
NOBEL PRIZE TO SEAMUS HEANEY.
Old Seamus famously compared his pen
To the spade his aged father fossicked spuds with,
Thus flattering both. Dad's hard graft turns to art,
Whilst tang of moral sweat and honest fart
Imbues the ink that Seamus writes his duds with.
I'm no great fan,
you've guessed, of Irishmen
- Or others - who will use their peasant stock
As something to - oh so discreetly - boast of,
Who flaunt a fashionable bumpkin's smock
Round any town that they've become the toast of.
Those Swedes may rate
him ten marks out of ten;
They like his tone, I guess, so serioso,
Inviting solemn nods to every page
But never taking risks with lust or rage.
Don't Swedes sigh: "Shouldn't verse be virtuoso?"?
It must be thirty
years ago now when
He started, with those themes the school of Hughes
Made de rigeur (epiphanies from frogspawn).
He added Belfast when it hit the news,
Just like some academic catalogue's pawn.
And yet those
Troubles seem past Seamus' ken.
He's not the guy to comprehend the madness
That boils in men from Antrim to Athlone.
He writes of murders with a weary tone,
Respectably, and with a distanced sadness.
But Seamus hit poetic
He read a book on folks turned turdy-gold
In peat by some far Scandiwegian log's side.
And he described them well, if truth be told;
He found more poetry in bogs than Bogside.
I won't say - Poet,
be a citizen
Of modern life, all mobile phones and street-cred
But when just one girl makes your language glow
And she was pickled centuries ago ...
Just think - would Yeats have been content with peat-cred?
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