Jan. 16, 2006: ORACLE (Seamus Heaney)

Hey ya’ll,

Though Seamus Heaney’s name is still an anagram for "Eyu–she’s a man!",
he really needs no introduction to this group. So I’m going to let Adam
Sleper say something informal about the man, followed by one of his more
peaceful poems. Man, myth, medium, opinions?

***

Funny story for you. We went to brunch Monday with our upstairs neighbors (kinda cool, it’s not quite breakfast and it’s not quite lunch), and they told us they saw Seamus Heaney nearly get into a bar fight in Milwaulkee. Apparently, some guy was at a Milwaulkee bar with his buddies and one of the guys said, "Hey, isn’t that Seamus Heaney sitting over there?" Heaney had just given a reading in Milwaulkee. His friends didn’t know who he was, so the guy told them. At which point one of the dudes busted out his laser pointer and pointed it at Seamus’s forehead. "Who, that guy?" Allegedly, at this point, Heaney’s entourage came over to the table (it was the table next to my neighbors) and told the guy to knock it off. The guy, for whatever reason some guys like to do such things, refused. He kept pointing the damn laser at Heaney. Well, Heaney got pretty pissed and eventually marched over and grabbed the guy by his shirt collar and told him a few choice words. Heaney’s entourage came over to the table and restrained him, at which point the bar owners figured out what had happened and kicked the trouble maker out of the bar. Good stuff.

***

ORACLE

Hide in the hollow trunk
of the willow tree,
its listening familiar,
until, as usual, they
cuckoo your name
across the fields.
You can hear them
draw the poles of stiles
as they approach
calling you out:
small mouth and ear
in a woody cleft,
lobe and larynx
of the mossy places.

-1972

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