All I knew is a door into the dark.
Outside, old axles and iron hoops rusting;
Inside, the hammered anvil’s short pitched ring,
The unpredictable fantail of sparks
Or hiss when a new shoe thoughens in water.

The anvil must be somewhere in the centre,
Horned as a unicorn, at one end square,
Set there immoveable; an alter
Where he expends himself in shape and music.

Sometimes, leather-aproned, hairs in his nose,
He leans out on the jamb, recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;
Then grunts and goes in, with a slam and flick
To beat real iron out, to work the bellows.

SEAMUS HEANEY (1939 – 2013)
Nobel Prize for Literature (1995)
Died to-day 30th August 2013. R.I.P.

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