Seamus Heaney: Had I Not Been Awake

(credit: John Minihan)

Seamus Heaney: April 13, 1939-August 30, 2013
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

“Had I Not Been Awake”

Had I not been awake I would have missed it,
A wind that rose and whirled until the roof
Pattered with quick leaves off the sycamore

And got me up, the whole of me a-patter,
Alive and ticking like an electric fence:
Had I not been awake I would have missed it,

It came and went so unexpectedly
And almost it seemed dangerously,
Returning like an animal to the house,

A courier blast that there and then
Lapsed ordinary. But not ever
After. And not now.

–Seamus Heaney, from Human Chain

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