Seamus Heaney

Rookie (April 13,1939 - August 30, 2013 / Castledàwson, County Londonderry)

From The Frontier Of Writing - Poem by Seamus Heaney

The tightness and the nilness round that space
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect
its make and number and, as one bends his face

towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent
down cradled guns that hold you under cover

and everything is pure interrogation
until a rifle motions and you move
with guarded unconcerned acceleration—

a little emptier, a little spent
as always by that quiver in the self,
subjugated, yes, and obedient.

So you drive on to the frontier of writing
where it happens again. The guns on tripods;
the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating

data about you, waiting for the squawk
of clearance; the marksman training down
out of the sun upon you like a hawk.

And suddenly you're through, arraigned yet freed,
as if you'd passed from behind a waterfall
on the black current of a tarmac road

past armor-plated vehicles, out between
the posted soldiers flowing and receding
like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.


Comments about From The Frontier Of Writing by Seamus Heaney

  • Gold Star - 9,379 Points Raymond Farrell (4/27/2015 7:31:00 AM)

    The reality of living in Northern Ireland at the time. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 16,206 Points * Sunprincess * (3/19/2014 8:22:00 AM)

    ............this was obviously a true experience....nice write.. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011



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