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Seamus Heaney

Ierse dichtersweek

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In een Ierse dichtersweek zijn er twee zekerheden: W.B. Yeats en Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013). Yeats was gister aan de beurt en vandaag Seamus Heaney. Deze dichter, toneelschrijver, vertaler en docent  ontving in 1995 de Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur. In 1966 debuteerde Heaney met  ‘Death of a Naturalist’ dat achtereenvolgens de Cholmondeley Award, de Gregory Award, de Somerset Maugham Award en de Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Uit zijn debuutbundel ‘Death of a naturalist’ uit 1966 het gedicht ‘Follower’.

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Follower

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My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Seamus Heaney in 1970
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