Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Last night, on the way home from the gym, I caught this guy on NPR.

My God! He was reading some powerful poetry. I was spellbound. I got home and sat in my driveway for a couple of hours listening.

He talked about watching his father digging turf in the bog. I remember using a slean (pron. "shlan") as a kid to dig turf. It's a sort of shovel whose blade is bent at a ninety degree angle to let you dig into a turf bed from the side. Heaney talked about his father being born to handle all sorts of farm implements. The first time my Mother saw me cutting hay with a scythe, she told me I handled it like my Grandfather. As a kid, my major farm job was to plant an acre of poratoes by St. Patrick's day (and dig them up at the end of summer). I remember being kicked by cows. I remember my Grandmother slaughtering pigs, curing rashers, and stirring pig-blood into black pudding. I remember the soft-shit smell of the chicken coop when I took their eggs in the morning. Etc., etc. It was a real trip down memory lane.

That NPR program was a rare gift. I thank you, WPBA. Though, let me acknowledge now that I am in my dotage: when I start remembering the farm with fondness, I have lost my mind. I mean, do you know how *big* an acre is, on a shovel-full by shovel-full basis? Jayzus!!!!

It's kind of sad to me that poetry isn't a mass-consumption product.

Just sayin'.

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