for T. P. Flanagan
We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening--
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Is wooed into the cyclops' eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.
They've taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.
Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter
Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They'll never dig coal here,
Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,
Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.
Seamus Heaney's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Bogland by Seamus Heaney )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
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(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
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(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
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(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
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