Monthly Archives: September 2010

Sept. 20, 2010: THE DOOR WAS OPEN AND THE HOUSE WAS DARK (Seamus Heaney)

Whoa, a couple weeks got by me there, and I’d meant to do such a good job with Phil Levine on Labor Day… I tell ya, the cracks are really starting to show on Monday’s Verse. Luckily, there was a joint book review of the new Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon, wherein I discovered this poem, which is dedicated to my Uncle Tony. ~mjl

THE DOOR WAS OPEN AND THE HOUSE WAS DARK

The door was open and the house was dark

Wherefore I called his name, although I knew

The answer this time would be silence

That kept me standing listening while it grew

Backwards and down and out into the street

Where as I’d entered (I remember now)

The streetlamps too were out.

I felt, for the first time there and then, a stranger,

Intruder almost, wanting to take flight

Yet well aware that here there was no danger,

Only withdrawal, a not unwelcoming

Emptiness, as in a midnight hangar

On an overgrown airfield in late summer.

-2010