Seamus Heaney

Night Drive


Uit mijn boekenkast heb ik vandaag gekozen voor Seamus Heaney, Opened Ground; poems 1966-1996. En uit deze vuistdikke verzamelbundel het gedicht ‘Night Drive’ uit de bundel ‘Door into the dark’ uit 1969.


Night Drive


The smells of ordinariness

Were new on the night drive through France:

Rain and hay and woods on the air

Made warm draughts in the open car


Signposts whitened relentlessly.

Montreuil, Abbeville, Beauvais

Were promised, promised, came and went,

Each place granting its name’s fulfilment.


A combine groaning its way late

Bled seeds across its work-light.

A forest fire smouldered out.

One by one small cafés shut.


I thought of you continuously

A thousand miles south where Italy

Laid its loin to France on the darkened sphere.

Your ordinariness was renewed there.



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