POETRY: A Herbal by Seamus Heaney

July 6, 2018

After Guillevic’s “Herbier de Bretagne” Everywhere plants Flourish among graves, Sinking their roots In all the dynasties Of the dead. * Was graveyard grass In our place Any different? Different from ordinary Field grass? Remember how you wanted The sound recordist To make a loop, Wildtrack of your feet Through the wet At the foot of a field? * Yet for all their lush Compliant dialect No way have plants here Arrived at a settlement. Not the mare’s tail, Not the broom or whins. It must have to do With the wind. * Not that the grass itself Ever rests in peace. It too takes issue, Now sets its face. To the wind, Now turns its back. * “See me?” it says. “The wind Has me well rehearsed In the ways of [...]