Clearances – In Memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984 – By Seamus Heaney

Clearances

In Memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984

She taught me what her uncle once taught her:
How easily the biggest coal block split
If you got the grain and the hammer angled right.

The sound of that relaxed alluring blow
Its co-opted and obliterated echo,
Taught me to hit, taught me to loosen,

Taught me between the hammer and the block
To face the music. Teach me now to listen,
To strike it rich behind the linear black.

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