The Pitchfork

  Heaney revealed to DOD (336): I loved handling the fork and the rake, their light¬≠ness and rightness in the hand, their perfect suitedness to the jobs they had to do. It meant that the work of turning a swathe, forexample, was its own reward; angling the shaft and the tines so that the hay turned over like a woven fabric – that was an intrinsi¬≠cally artistic challenge. Tasty work, as they say. Using the pitchfork was like playing an instrument. So much so that when you clipped and trimmed the head of a ruck, the strike of the fork on the hay made it a kind of tuning fork.   The poem is a tribute both to the king […]