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Hello dVerse Poets and welcome to Tuesday Poetics, hosted this week by me, Kim. You can find me on Writing in North Norfolk.

As some of you may already know, I love the work of the Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who sadly passed away on 30th August 2013. I would like to inspire you with two of his poems.

Image result for seamus heaney as a child

Image found on www.bbc.co.uk

The first is a poem about Heaney’s father, who was a ploughman:


My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.

The subject of the second poem is something I know a little about, as my husband is scaffolding charge hand and inspector, as well as health and safety rep, at an on-shore gas terminal.


Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

For more on Seamus Heaney: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/seamus-heaney#poet

The challenge is to write a poem about an artisan or wright, for example a weaver, thatcher, wheelwright or carpenter, or any other craftsman you can think of. It can be a real person, you or someone you know, or a fictional person. All I ask is that you emulate the form and/or style of one of the Heaney poems.

If you are new, here’s how to join in:

  • Write a poem in response to the challenge;
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below;
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join so check back to see more poems;
  • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all come here to have our poems read;
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog;
  • Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.   We are a friendly bunch of poets.
  • Have fun.

I look forward to reading about your artisans.