Thursday, April 15, 2010

Read Aloud

The Bog Queen

I lay waiting
between turf-face and demesne wall,
between heathery levels,
and glass-toothed stone.

My body was braille
for the creeping influences:
dawns suns groped over my head
and cooled at my feet,

through my fabrics and skins
the seeps of winter
digested me,
the illiterate roots

pondered and died
in the cavings
of stomach and socket.
I lay waiting

on the gravel bottom,
my brain darkening,
a jar of spawn
fermenting underground

dreams of Baltic amber.
Bruised berries under my nails,
the vital hoard reducing
in the crock of the pelvis.

My diadem grew carious,
gemstones dropped
in the peat floe
like the bearings of history.

My sash was a black glacier
wrinkling, dyed weaves
and phoenician stitchwork
retted on my breasts'

soft moraines.
I knew winter cold
like the nuzzle of fjords
at my thighs-

the soaked fledge, the heavy
swaddle of hides.
My skull hibernated
in the wet nest of my hair.

Which they robbed.
I was barbered
and stripped
by a turfcutter's spade

who veiled me again
and packed coomb softly
between the stone jambs
at my head and my feet.

Till a peer's wife bribed him.
The plait of my hair,
a slimy birth-cord
of bog, had been cut

and I rose from the dark,
hacked bone, skull-ware,
frayed stitches, tufts,
small gleams on the bank.

- Seamus Heaney


Melwyk said...

This is amazing. I can't believe I haven't read Seamus Heaney. Thanks for the push in his direction!

theduckthief said...

You're welcome!

I've read his work before for school but it was always about analyzing for deeper meaning. I've just starting rereading my poetry textbooks for pure pleasure and have rediscovered some great poets.