« InoculatedVermont Braces For Hyperstorms »
10.28.2002

Thirsty Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney came to town, today, to give a reading of his poetry at Mead Chapel. I am usually a sluggard about attending events like these, but today I went and did not regret it. It was a wonderful reading - Seamus Heaney turns out to be a gentle man, full of warmth and humor, and his poems are very, very good. Before reading each one, he would give an unobtrusive little explanation of what it meant, for the dimmer stars in our firmament, or perhaps for us computer programmers in the audience, and we appreciated the gesture. Far from being didactic, he gave you the impression of just opening the door a little bit, so that you could push it open yourself, and left that nice feeling of discovery all to you.

There is a lot to like in Seamus Heaney. The best part of the evening was the silent pantomime of the Dixie cups. Two miniscule, shot-glass sized paper cups of water had been placed on the podium in front of the great man ( there had been some fuss about finding a proper glass ), and the laureate didn't see the much large plastic bottle get rushed in and take its place invisibly to his right, just outside his field of vision.

It was obvious the poetry reading was thirsty work, we could all hear his voice rasp, but no one dared raise a whisper. As the reading went on, the poet took smaller and smaller sips from both cups, eventually exhausting both just as he finished the poem about the frozen bird who died of thirst, and the look on his face as he finally stepped back to take a bow and caught sight of that great untouched bottle was a poem in itself.

« InoculatedVermont Braces For Hyperstorms »
Idle Words

brevity is for the weak




Greatest Hits

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.

Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world

Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?

No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.

Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina

Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting

Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks

Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews

A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant

Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future

100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law

Every Damn Thing

2015 May Jul
2014 Jul Aug
2013 Feb Dec
2012 Feb Sep Nov Dec
2011 Aug
2010 Mar May Jun Jul
2009 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
2008 Jan Apr May Aug Nov
2007 Jan Mar Apr May Jul Dec
2006 Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Oct Nov Dec
2003 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2002 May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Your Host

Maciej Cegłowski


Threat

Please ask permission before reprinting full-text posts or I will crush you.