Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

You must be digging now
digging with your father
and your grandfather
digging in a different sod

where the peat smells better
where the potatoes aren’t black with blight
this year
where there is no strife
over language or song
where women are not stoned
where there is no war over
sects of the same religion
where one day you are not friends with
one who is also your enemy
on another day
the vicissitudes of the past’s bottlenecks

You must be digging now
into libraries’ silver fish
into the smell of dusty, musty, mouldy, unread books
and wondering how yours line shelves
yours and books on yours
that little boy who took food
to his father while he dug
and maybe you wear now a pen in your coat pocket
made of a golden nib

You must be digging now
beyond your strange politics
and beyond what politicians think of poetry
Your poems dig for you a bed made of soft loam
beyond the grave
Seamus Heaney
asking the same old question
with Joyce, Yeats, Beckett and other greats
how many more acres of green
will you spread as a fragrance in the world
and in your own home-country now seen
by you from the other side
no longer through a blood sprinkled glass suddenly
but of history’s stains wiped clean
partly by your assiduous digging
partly by your own gifts?

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Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored or co-authored seven or eight books of poetry, theory and criticism. He is an editor and anthologist. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically Samuel Beckett's poems in English. He was a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry in 2012 and his book Art of Poetry was selected as Best Reads 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee. He has been editor's pick on Camel Saloon thrice and poet of the month thrice in Destiny Poets UK besides often having his poems appear in the highly selected category. Has other international awards, diplomas and certificates to his credit too.

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