Sloe Gin

  Heaney proposes a lyrical toast to a drink made from sloe berries that drip with taste and sensation and to the woman who produces sloe gin. The poem salutes the creation of an enjoyable tipple. The process is defined as a late autumn activity performed as the clear weather of juniper/ darkened into winter. The tipple-maker simply added alcoholic sustenance to the berries: fed gin to sloes. The speaker’s curiosity that led to him opening the sealed jar prematurely sent its bouquet (the tart stillness of a bush) rising through the pantry where it lay marinating. Sampling brought pleasure to taste and sight: the sharpness of its cutting edge and its cosmic twinkle that flamed/ like Betelgeuse. The chink […]