Miracle

Heaney adapts a New Testament miracle as a tribute to those who came to his aid in crisis. Having described his impotence as a stricken stretcher-case he salutes the initial human support-chain of friends whose efforts helped bring about the miracle of recovery. He is commemorating not the beneficiary of a biblical miracle (the one who takes up his bed and walks) but, rather, his own ‘stretcher-bearers’ (the ones) whose solidarity took up the challenge however daunting of moving him: Their shoulders numb, the ache and stoop deeplocked/ In their backs … the stretcher handles/ Slippery with sweat.They spared no effort (without let-up) to deliver a sick man for healing despite the logistical problems: strapped on … made tiltable… raised… lowered. Heaney urges us to be mindful of […]