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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. 

Enjoy this great Irish poem and if you enjoy this grab your weekly dose of Irish. I send it out every Friday for free straight to your inbox. 

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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