Two Stick Drawings

  Two childhood scenarios in which sticks featured. 1 Heaney reflects on the contrasting behaviour of two girls with whom he mixed as a child. On autumnal fruit-picking expeditions the first was skilled in the use of the stick she carried: Claire O’Reilly used her granny’s stick (its shape fit for purpose: A crook-necked one) to snare the highest briars. The reason for stretching up: the least accessible plants always grew the ripest blackberries. The second girl was less modest and thoughtful: Persephone/ Was in the halfpenny place compared to Claire. Heedless of danger or regulation She’d trespass and climb gates and walk the railway. Heaney recalls the inter-reaction of railway and nature (Where sootflakes blew into convolvulus) and the […]