Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day: Poem and Dedication

Happy Labor Day!

This post is dedicated to the teachers and other staff of the new Ypsilanti Community Schools. I hope they have union contracts soon!

This post is also dedicated to the memory of the wonderful Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who understood the many ways that people work. He passed away earlier this week. Here are two obituaries, the first from BBC News, the second from the New York Times. (Want to read more about the "Troubles" in Ireland? Start with the BBC News obituary.)

So for your reading pleasure today, I've got a poem, Digging by Seamus Heaney. [It is from his first book, Death of a Naturalist (1966)]. I've got a few lines of the poem below, but to read the entire poem, and for the pleasure of listening to the poem, please click on the link.

Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.

Alternatively, watch Seamus Heaney read the poem here (this is a montage the BBC News put together):

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