Seamus Heaney

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

Testimony - Poem by Seamus Heaney

'We were killing pigs when the
Yanks arrived.
A Tuesday morning, sunlight
and gutter-blood
Outside the slaughter house.
>From the main road
They would have heard the screaming,
Then heard it stop and had a view of us
In our gloves and aprons coming
down the hill.
Two lines of them, guns on their
shoulders, marching.
Armoured cars and tanks and open jeeps.
Sunburnt hands and arms.
Unarmed, in step,
Hosting for Normandy.
Not that we knew then
Where they were headed, standing
there like youngsters
As they tossed us gum and tubes of
coloured sweets'


Comments about Testimony by Seamus Heaney

  • (9/3/2016 10:33:00 AM)


    I assume this was autobiographical, recounting an incident that happened to him during WW2. The slaughtering of the pigs could be construed as a metaphor or comment on the futility of war. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Poem Edited: Wednesday, December 28, 2011


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