A Poem for a Lost Poet

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Heaney covers




The passing of Seamus Heaney was like a bolt out of the blue for the Irish people, none more so than for west Belfast community worker Sean Brennan.

In a tribute he penned the following lines:


Bellaghy Man

He dug throgh lines, mining miracles, of bog oak

Word rhymes. A human chain, condemned

For not milking the hunger: whatever you say.

Escaping the early purges, sowing similes, he

‘Set the darkness echoing’. Through farm lit door

He dug deep, into hope and history, ‘to stare

Big-eyed Narcissus’ into adult dignity, with his

Divining pen. Between his finger and his thumb,

Jerking ‘with ‘precise convulsions’, he wrote

‘The Cure’, for Thetis. He was a spirit level, ‘sky born and

Royal snake-choker’, a ‘station-island’, where blackbirds

Rested for inspiration. By God, he was a Bellaghy man,

Who could handle a pen. He dug with that.

‘And in August’… his soul grew up out of our grave.


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About Author

Seán Brennan is a part-time PhD candidate at the Queen’s University Belfast, School of Politics International Studies and Philosophy, researching Ulster Loyalism and the politics of Peacebuilding, Development and Security in Northern Ireland. He is a representative of the community on Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Partnership and has contributed articles for The Other View magazine, Pue’s Occurrences and Conflict Transformation Papers, Volume 9, Ethnicity and Nationalism (2005) and Volume 10, Peace by Piece (2005) and has contributed poems, The Gaza Ghetto (2008) and Belsen by the Sea (2008), for the Palestine Chronicle (16 July 2008). Seán also designs and delivers training in Community Relations, Conflict Resolution and Conflict Transformation and his Peace Building in Interface Communities programme was short-listed for the Times Higher Education Awards (2008).

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