Seamus Heaney

Castledàwson, County Londonderry
Seamus Heaney
Castledàwson, County Londonderry
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Strange Fruit

Rating: 3.3
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.
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COMMENTS
Bill Wright 03 September 2016
A powerful piece of writing. I wonder if it came about because of the unearthing of a body or perhaps an old skeleton.
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