Seamus Heaney has died, and I am sad.
He was the first poet I ever heard read from his poetry, back years ago in college, and it was a powerful thing to hear his words in his own voice, and his Station Island was the first book of poetry I ever bought. When I married, it joined my husband's own Seamus Heaney books--happily, it was one he did not already have--and it has sat with them in peace for years, unread....
And this morning, I undistracted myself from the nasty fuss of work thoughts, and opened the book at random...and goldfinch and kingfisher "rent the veil of the usual" and I vowed not to give in to "the pathos of waterhens and panicky corncrakes" of an ordinary day (from "Drifting Off," p 104 in Station Island).
Here the last stanza in full:
"But when goldfinch or kingfisher rent
the veil of the usual,
pinions whispered and braced
as I stooped, unwieldy
my spurs at the ready."