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Belderg by Seamus Heaney
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This poem and querns has been nagging my mind for a couple of days, and the Irish Meet Up thread, (make Bawn an English fort) coincided nicely. Fourwinds has put the site on TMA (see Belderg) as an ancient settlement, its a village in County Mayo, there are no photos though. Anyway if you look at Vicster's posting on Ceide Fields, there is an ancient tree, presumably from a bog...

"A world tree of balanced stone" which reminds you of the Ygyradsil Tree of course. Think his 'Grauballe Man' and 'Tollund Man' are already on the Meg.Poem thread


'They just keep turning up
And were thought of as foreign'-
One-eyed and benign,
They lie about his house,
Quernstones out of a bog.

To lift the lid of the peat
And find this pupil dreaming
Of neolithic wheat!
When he stripped off blanket bog
The soft-piled centuries

Fell open like a glib;
There were the first plough-marks,
The stone-age fields, the tomb
Corbelled, turfed and chambered,
Floored with dry turf-coomb.

A landscape fossilized,
Its stone wall patternings
Repeated before our eyes
In the stone walls of Mayo.
Before I turned to go

He talked about persistence,
A congruence of lives,
How stubbed and cleared of stones,
His home accrued growth rings
Of iron, flint and bronze.
So I talked of Mossbawn,

A bogland name 'but Moss'?,
He crossed my old home's music
With older strains of Norse.
I'd told how its foundation
Was mutable as sound

And how I could derive
A forked root from that ground,
Make bawn an English fort,
A planter's walled-in mound.

Or else find sanctuary
And think of it as Irish,
Persistent if outworn.
'But the Norse ring on your tree?'
I passed through the eye of the quern,

Grist to an ancient mill,
And in my mind's eye saw,
A world-tree of balanced stones,
Querns piles like vertebrae,
The marrow crushed to grounds.

Seamus Heaney 1975

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Posted by moss
26th February 2009ce

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Megalithic Poems (Littlestone)

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Re: Belderg by Seamus Heaney (Littlestone)

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