Diary of the Plague Year: Day 52 6 May 2020: Quotidian Poetry: Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

AT TOOMEBRIDGE
 
         Where the flat water
Came pouring over the weir out of Lough Neagh
As if it had reached an edge of the flat earth
And fallen shining to the continuous
Present of the Bann.
         Where the checkpoint used to be.
Where the rebel boy was hanged in ’98.
Where negative ions in the open air
Are poetry to me.  As once before
The slime and silver of the fattened eel.

FROM:

SEAMUS HEANEY
Electric Light

Faber & Faber


 

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 52 6 May 2020: A fire for cheerfulness

Yes, it is the 6th of May and I have lit a fire. Really for a bit of cheer on yet another dank, dark day of rain. The upside is that my new trees will be drinking it all up and it is just what they need. I used twigs, that I had picked up from the garden, as kindling and they blazed up very nicely. Hadn’t thought of doing that before and had been putting them on the compost heap.

There is another layer of silence these days and the birdsong is very clear. Ditto, the noise of insects though, of course, not on a day like this. The meadow is also greening up nicely. It will be interesting to see what comes up.

Meanwhile, over the water, it is clear that that Boris Johnson and his band of appalling cronies has presided over a complete and utter shambles. The care home deaths are a SCANDAL and I hope there will be an investigation and an official inquiry. Saw an extract of Johnson on the news – it was pure doublespeak. He is a sinister and bad man.

In bed last night listening to the cows. They make the most peculiar noises. If someone had told me a troop of howler monkeys had escaped and were larking about outside the house I would not have been surprised.

Have decided to have an afternoon of films – The Street, followed by A Room With a View.

Just finishing Michael Holroyd’s biography of Lytton Strachey – “He had only a year to live”.

We had the second Zoom workshop for the Creative Writing class yesterday evening. My computer kept crashing, so frustrating, so had to load Zoom on my phone. Not ideal. There is some really brilliant writing from the class. This week’s assignments are either:

  1. Describe yourself as a fictional character.
  2. Describe the feeling of being wet.

We also need to write a short piece prompted by the word “flask”.