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Saturday, April 13, 2019

'Voice' Carries Your Poetic Words

“Every time you read a poem aloud to yourself in the presence of others, you are reading it into yourself and them. Voice helps to carry words farther and deeper than the eye.” – Seamus Heaney

Nobel Prize winner Heaney was born in Northern Ireland on this date in 1939.   Author of more than 20 volumes of poetry, he is widely recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest poets and writers.  He died in 2013.   
                      Heaney's work is used extensively in school syllabuses internationally, including the anthologies The Rattle Bag and The School Bag (both edited with Ted Hughes).   For Saturday’s Poem, here is Heaney’s, 

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away

Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.

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