Seamus Heaney

Relic of Memory

The lough waters
Can petrify wood:
Old oars and posts
Over the years
Harden their grain,
Incarcerate ghosts

Of sap and season.
The shallows lap
And give and take:
Constant ablutions,
Such a drowning love
Stun a stake

To stalagmite.
Dead lava,
The cooling star,
Coal and diamond
Or sudden birth
Of burnt meteor

Are too simple,
Without the lure
That relic stored —
A piece of stone
On the shelf at school,
Oatmeal coloured.

Nobel Prize in Literature (1995)– for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past

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