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Strange Fruit

Posted by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:19 AM
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1 mom liked this

Strange Fruit

Here is the girl's head like an exhumed gourd.
Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.

They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair
And made an exhibition of its coil,
Let the air at her leathery beauty.
Pash of tallow, perishable treasure:
Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod,
Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings.
Diodorus Siculus confessed
His gradual ease with the likes of this:
Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible
Beheaded girl, outstaring axe
And beatification, outstaring
What had begun to feel like reverence.

by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:19 AM
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Replies (1-4):
Mommabearbergh
by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:21 AM
Is there more to this.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:25 AM
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Seamus Heaney died today.

The above is one of his most disturbing poems.

It is about a young woman's head found in Denmark, which was similar to tribal sacrifices to the gods of harvest. Seamus Heaney studied the bog people and wrote a series of bog poems in response to the murders in Ireland that dealt with beheadings and hangings and then the disposal of the bodies in a bog.

Rest in peace, but not too lightly Seamus.  You cared, and you forced others to care and see too, when hating was for them a much easier option.  And what is more, you were a poet; not a pretty poncey thing, but the old tribal scary meaning of "poet", a bard to put fear into leaders and fire into the guts of those who listen.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:32 AM
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Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Is there more to this.

He wrote many others.  For example:


As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.


One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.


A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.


Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.


Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 7:36 AM

I'm sad to say I didn't realize he was still around.  RIP. 

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