05 July 2018

catch the heart and blow it open

Picture credit: National Archives of Ireland/The Irish Times

Yesterday, the brand new amazing wonderful exhibition of Seamus Heaney's archive was opened in Dublin.
Today, I had a gastroscopy plus colonoscopy.
These two events are completely unrelated. However, I could do with a drive out to the west, the salty wind from the Atlantic blowing away the fog in my brain.


37paddington said...

I am so taken with that line, catch the heart and blow it open. And I agree with you, "blow" is much better than "swing." His first instinct was spot on. I would love to stroll through that exhibit with you. I hope a salty wind finds you, with or without the drive out west.

On the other hand "earthed lightening" is just breathtaking—his second instinct there. Thank you for sharing this. What a literary curator's heart you have. You've blown mine open today.

ellen abbott said...

I write but I am not literary. I make art but do not have an artist's soul. and I refuse to have a colonoscopy. tomorrow though, my sister and I are taking a two hour drive along the Gulf Coast to a town for an art festival. supposed to be one of the best.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing this edited poem and being reminded of the mindfulness of words that make poetry. I hope the results of your recent tests are good and that all is well for you.

Elizabeth said...

Oh how wonderful -- he is a big, big poet idol of mine. Maybe not idol, though -- just love. I have an online friend named Yvonne who is from the same town as he, and I believe her family knew him well. She lives now in Arizona and writes a beautiful blog called "considering the lilies." She writes quite a bit about Heaney. Here's the link:http://timetoconsiderthelilies.com/

Roderick Robinson said...

I wanted to play my endoscopy card even though I was pretty sure it couldn't beat a colonoscopy: two pairs will always be kicked in the teeth by a royal flush. Luckily I searched the word in Tone Deaf and found you and I had already had words on the topic; by the skin of my teeth I've just avoided being repetitive, one of the many defects of old age.

As someone who has edited many a faulty document, I am always entranced when I come upon real wordsmiths at that game. Seamus - no big surprise here - gets things right. Substituting "swing" for "blow" in the last line is a complete no-brainer and I hope it was a comfort to him as he lay on his death-bed and came up with that most tranquil of exhortations.

Have I told you about another holy moment? Decades ago, in the British Museum, I came upon the typed MS of The Waste Land with Pound's editing in pencil!! Whole stanzas crossed out, lines improved. Pound is hated for all sorts of valid reasons but here is one poet working selflessly on behalf of another. And Eliot knew. The dedication reads Il miglior fabbro (The better craftsman).

Such clearsightedness - on both sides. Oh I do hope I haven't mentioned this previously. To be a bore about such a holy moment is like coughing needlessly during The Alto Rhpasody.