Keeping Going on National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day and as always on days like this, I look to the work of Seamus Heaney for inspiration.

This year feels quite poignant as last week, Seamus Heaney’s brother Hugh Heaney passed away after a short illness. I knew Hugh well through his support for Seamus Heaney HomePlace and his enthusiasm for the work I do there and all of us who work at the Centre have felt his death very keenly.

Hugh lived and worked at the family farm – The Wood – outside Bellaghy, the place where Seamus wrote much of his first collection Death of a Naturalist. He used to joke that he thought up as many poems as Seamus did, only he never had a paper and pen handy to write them down, which was typical of Hugh’s wicked humour. He was forthright, sharp and very funny, always telling me that the shows I had programmed were good, but could probably have done with more poems.

More poems – sure you can’t argue with that…

In honour of Hugh and of National Poetry Day, I’d like to share part of the poem Keeping Going, written for him by his brother Seamus.

KEEPING GOING

for H.H.

My dear brother, you have good stamina.

You stay on where it happens. Your big tractor

Pulls up at the Diamond, you wave at people,

You shout and laugh above the revs, you keep

Old roads open by driving on the new ones.

You called the pipers’ sporrans whitewash brushes

And then dressed up and marched us through the kitchen.

But you cannot make the dead walk or right wrong.

I see you at the end of your tether sometimes,

In the milking parlour, holding yourself up

Between two cows until your turn goes past,

Then coming to to the smell of dung again

and wondering, is this all? As it was

In the beginning, is now and shall be?

Then rubbing your eyes and seeing our old brush

Up on the byre door, and keeping going.

Hugs from Hugh

Uncategorized

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

14 Comments Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Books and Me!

All things Bookish and more!

Lizzie Ross

Reading, writing, dreaming

Book of Secrets

Casual Book Reviews by a Serious Reader

MARgINAlia

A plume with a hue

Books Are The New Black

Book Reviews and Book Talk

em with pen 🖋

a little blog of books & writings

Comfort Reads

Sharing My Love For Books, Baking & Life

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

That Happy Reader

An avid reader featuring new and soon to be published books!

%d bloggers like this: