The problem with having too many things- in this case, books- is that I can’t find what I’m looking for. How am I going to impress you all with my knowledge of random bits, if I don’t know where I’ve put it? Hmm, yes, I do suppose that means that I don’t really know the stuff, I just like having access to it. That’s why I love the internet.
After wondering about Seamus Heaney on the bus the other week, I thought I’d hunt out some of the poetry and remind myself of its wonder. I’d thought I’d be curled up on the sofa, nodding knowledgeably, stroking my metaphorical beard, chewing on the end of a pencil. I thought I knew where the books were. Right there beside the bed. Or in the living room. The shelves are double stacked, but nothing is lost. I don’t think. It’s not a big house. I give loads of books to charity shops, but surely I wouldn’t have given away Seamus?
I did have to revert to the internet after all. Forgive me for the obvious choices- familiarity doesn’t reduce their power, and also, they’re easier to find… (the book turned up later, beside the bed, just like you all predicted)
Then, there is another poem which came to mind when I was looking at Not Seamus
A lover of words, by John Hegley
The words are his potatoes.
He spades them out
he lets them lie
he brings them home
he wrings them dry.
Then the honing
and the boning
of the artificial eye.
And then further cleaning:
this is Seamus,
This post was first published in May 2011. Works by Heaney and Hegley are available for reading anytime.