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Top Irish Poem: Personal Helicon By Seamus Heaney

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This weeks top Irish poem is number 40 titled Personal Helicon by Seamus Heaney. 

In this great poem, Seamus Heaney takes us back to a simpler time. A time when he was happy out playing by a well. It is a shorter poem but Seamus has great use of imagery. In fact, you are almost transported back to his childhood through his words. 

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Personal Helicon, by Seamus Heaney

Personal Helicon, by Seamus Heaney

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

Thanks for reading. And check out my top 100 Irish poems list here. 

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