The Wood Road by Seamus Heaney

A poem I can read again and again and again …

writing in airplanes

I love this poem; it moves me as a reader and inspires me as a writer. The sort of work that you want to read again and again and think “I wish I’d written that.” But then, if I had, I’d have a Nobel Prize.

The Wood Road
by Seamus Heaney

Resurfaced, never widened,
The verges grassy as when
Bill Pickering lay with his gun
Under the summer hedge
Nightwatching, in uniform—

Special militiaman.

Moonlight on rifle barrels,
On the windscreen of a van
Roadblocking the road,
The rest of his staunch patrol
In profile, sentry-loyal,

Harassing Mulhollandstown.

Or me in broad daylight
On top of a cartload
Of turf built trig and tight,
Looked up to, looking down,
Allowed the reins like an adult

As the old cart rocked and rollicked.

Then that August day I walked it
“To the hunger striker’s wake,
Across a silent yard,
In past…

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