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Unread 05-07-2020, 05:47 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: *
Posts: 2,182
Default Punishment

I never quite warmed up to him, but I want to like him more. I always thought that this was outstanding though. What I admire is that though the woman found in the bog is described in passionate detail, and it's so horribly sad, the poem is really about the speaker. And it's, unfortunately, bound to be relevant.
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Unread 05-08-2020, 05:24 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 7,144

Thanks for this, James. I hadn't seen it before.

Most poetry about injustice says, "Those people are terrible. Glad I'm not like them." This one says, "Those people are terrible, and I'm just like them. Glad I realize it, so I can keep an eye on myself."

I [...] would have cast, I know,
the stones of silence.
Yep, every bit as deadly as solid basalt.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 05-08-2020 at 07:45 PM.
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Unread 05-08-2020, 05:54 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 4,043

Yes, thanks for this James. It is stunning. I haven't read it in a while and it's prompted me to take my Seamus Collected up to bed.
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Unread 05-14-2020, 03:43 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Posts: 2,182

Well, you're welcome, and thanks a bunch for commenting. Would have responded sooner, but most of my week is tight. Mark, I think you have a greater appreciation than I for Heaney. I sometimes like him a lot, but sometimes he seems like an exercise in how to write semi emotional, half unremoved poetry. This one is a killer, tho, I think, and would like to find more. I'm so happy you liked this, Julie. And I like this for pretty much the same reasons. Here's a reading, I assume from Seamus.

*Just to add, however obvious, that I love the title. That observing this is the speaker's punishment.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 05-14-2020 at 04:16 PM.
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