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Thread: When all the other were away at mass! - Ireland's favourite poem.

  1. #1
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    Default When all the other were away at mass! - Ireland's favourite poem.

    I suppose this poem was always going to win in a country of mammys boys!! Probably appropriate with Mother's Day looming....

    My happiest childhood memories of time with my mother were also spent doing simple tasks like peeling potatoes, or baking on Saturday afternoons...A simple, emotive & happy poem (despite dealing with the thorny subject of death), Seamus Heaney really was a Genius!


    When all the others were away at Mass

    I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
    They broke the silence, let fall one by one
    Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
    Cold comforts set between us, things to share
    Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
    And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
    From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

    So while the parish priest at her bedside
    Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
    And some were responding and some crying
    I remembered her head bent towards my head,
    Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
    Never closer the whole rest of our lives.

    From New Selected Poems 1966-1987 © Estate of Seamus Heaney

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  3. #2

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    2 roads diverge in a yellow wood

    the only line ill ever remember - lovely poem though

  4. #3
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    love this one!

    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    BY ROBERT FROST


    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

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  6. #4
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    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

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  8. #5
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    Invictus- the poem that inspired nelson Mandela

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

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  10. #6
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    The Armadillo
    BY ELIZABETH BISHOP
    for Robert Lowell

    This is the time of year
    when almost every night
    the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
    Climbing the mountain height,

    rising toward a saint
    still honored in these parts,
    the paper chambers flush and fill with light
    that comes and goes, like hearts.

    Once up against the sky it's hard
    to tell them from the stars—
    planets, that is—the tinted ones:
    Venus going down, or Mars,

    or the pale green one. With a wind,
    they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
    but if it's still they steer between
    the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,

    receding, dwindling, solemnly
    and steadily forsaking us,
    or, in the downdraft from a peak,
    suddenly turning dangerous.

    Last night another big one fell.
    It splattered like an egg of fire
    against the cliff behind the house.
    The flame ran down. We saw the pair

    of owls who nest there flying up
    and up, their whirling black-and-white
    stained bright pink underneath, until
    they shrieked up out of sight.

    The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
    Hastily, all alone,
    a glistening armadillo left the scene,
    rose-flecked, head down, tail down,

    and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
    short-eared, to our surprise.
    So soft!—a handful of intangible ash
    with fixed, ignited eyes.

    Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
    O falling fire and piercing cry
    and panic, and a weak mailed fist
    clenched ignorant against the sky!

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