The Baler

The solid, repetitive sound of a vital piece of agricultural machinery unearths deeper feelings in a convalescent Heaney: about mortality; about self; about a specific friend in memoriam. Heaney has hit upon something as familiar to him and as unquestioned as the heartbeat: the All day …Ongoing sound of the baler in operation; its clunk, like that of the heart we feel beating within us: cardiac-dull, So taken for granted.  He is still feeling the effect of illness and emerging from sleep; it was evening before I came to and recognised the sounds of an annual event from the farming calendar as of annual tradition he experienced it in summer’s richest hours. Memories of days spent haymaking are triggered: the actions and the after effects: Fork-lifted, sweated through; a […]