Seamus Heaney

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

Strange Fruit - Poem by Seamus Heaney

Here is the girl's head like an exhumed gourd.
Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.

They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair
And made an exhibition of its coil,
Let the air at her leathery beauty.
Pash of tallow, perishable treasure:
Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod,
Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings.
Diodorus Siculus confessed
His gradual ease with the likes of this:
Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible
Beheaded girl, outstaring axe
And beatification, outstaring
What had begun to feel like reverence.


Comments about Strange Fruit by Seamus Heaney

  • (9/3/2016 10:25:00 AM)


    A powerful piece of writing. I wonder if it came about because of the unearthing of a body or perhaps an old skeleton. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011



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