I know that pump
and the coldness of it
on whitened
winter mornings

and that bucket,
the awkward weight,
held away, wide
of your body.

They must eat, of course,
the men, the children,
roaring in
full of hunger,

and is this not an act
of heroism? The daily task
of giving
to them,

the daily act of staying
here, in this narrow place,
not spreading those
white wings, folding.

The beating hearts of all
those women, who have
poured out
their desires

and here is love
in these four walls
and the hands’ movements
again repeated.

This is my “cover” of ‘Sunlight’ by Seamus Heaney, for a dVerse (Tricky) prompt. You can find the original here:

I have tried to keep something of the spirit and the feel of the original. I wrote out each stanza of the original and then wrote out my response to it, and found I seemed to have written a poem that worked. Seamus Heaney wrote beautiful poems filled with intense local detail and universal significance. He works on many levels. 

8 thoughts on “Sunlight

  1. I just so love Heaney, Sarah, and I think you’ve made a wonderful job of this response.Not only have you captured the essence of Heaney and some of Irish history, but the first two stanzas remind me of my years in the middle of nowhere in the depths of County Meath, where we had a pump and a bucket! One winter we were snowed in, with icicles hanging inside from the ceiling and we had to be dug out by a neighbour with a tractor and a digger attachment. We used to break the ice for the calves to feed in the field behind out house because it was rented out to a farmer who lived some miles away.


  2. Interesting, though not sure I follow, but promising lines — Much like Heaney’s stuff. To a skilled reader (not me), there is much to be heard, I am sure. I used his poetry too, but got rid of broken lines, some flowery language and some vagueness. For some, mine was better (I heard), for others, they know bad poetry when they read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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