Seamus Heaney, Human Chain (Faber & Faber 2010)
Blogging about Human Chain as part of my LoSoRhyMo sonneteering is lighting a penny candle to a star, and not just because none of its poems are sonnets. I don’t have any pretensions to writing even a pastiche of Seamus Heaney. But a quota is a quota, so I’ll just say the book is something to immerse oneself in, and get on with it. I hope this makes some kind of sense.
Sonnet 7: Northern Ireland / Far North Queensland
Ask me to translate Seamus Heaney
(Derry, seggins, Upper Broagh),
I’ll try lantana, Mirriwinni,
Waugh’s Pocket – my dad’s puzzling laugh
when someone spelled that ‘whore’ – but stet
Church Latin, soil and honest sweat,
Virgil, cards: Bill Markwell, joker,
feared dona f’rentes Greeks at poker.
Wraiths of our fathers thirsting still,
voiceless now Kramastos, Markwell.
Like torches shining down a dark well
may poems give them drink until
they come back to the light of day,
beloved, but not all the way.
just read this, Jonathan. thought you’d find it amusing: ‘Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges … spent much of his life composing unremarkable sonnets [ about 2000 a year as he got older ] ….
in the same journal —- LRB — there is a wonderful sonnet by Anne Carson
Thanks, John. That gives me something to aspire to. At my present rate I’d manage significantly fewer than 200 unremarkable sonnets a year. But it’s definitely addictive.