Seamus Heaney: Squarings xlvii

The visible sea at a distance from the shore
Or beyond the anchoring grounds
Was called the offing.

The emptier it stood, the more compelled
The eye that scanned it.
But once you turned your back on it, your back

Was suddenly all eyes like Argus’s.
Then, when you’d look again, the offing felt
Untrespassed still, and yet somehow vacated

As if a lambent trooop that exercised
On the borders of your vision had withdrawn
Behind the skyline to manoeuvre and regroup.

~Seamus Heaney

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