It is World Poetry Day today and with the days getting more and more strange and life getting more uncertain, there is a lot to be said for turning to poetry for some solace and some comfort.
Today I wanted to share one of my favourite Seamus Heaney poems. I have a lot of favourite Seamus Heaney poems and my favourites change regularly, but this is one I return to again and again.
‘A Call’ first appeared in the collection The Spirit Level and was written for Seamus Heaney’s great friend Brian Friel. I think it is a beautiful meditation on the passing of time, our sense of mortality and the importance of friendship.
We all need friends, now more than ever. Take care and enjoy x
A Call, by Seamus Heaney
“Hold on,” she said, “I’ll just run out and get him.
The weather here’s so good, he took the chance
To do a bit of weeding.”
So I saw him
Down on his hands and knees beside the leek rig,
Touching, inspecting, separating one
Stalk from the other, gently pulling up
Everything not tapered, frail and leafless,
Pleased to feel each little weed-root break,
But rueful also . . .
Then found myself listening to
The amplified grave ticking of hall clocks
Where the phone lay unattended in a calm
Of mirror glass and sunstruck pendulums . . .
And found myself then thinking: if it were nowadays,
This is how Death would summon Everyman.
Next thing he spoke and I nearly said I loved him.
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!