A different angle on the ‘erotic’, not the sensual ‘wood nymph’ presence in Moyulla or the more overt sexuality of Tate’s Avenue, rather pleasure moments using delicacies that bring pleasure-on-a-plate to the senses. This short prose-poem is designed to bring a smile to the lips of a Japanese friend.

Heaney has chosen Fiddlehead ferns to make his point; a special delicacy not to be found  just anywhere.

He offers them in response to a Japanese friend’s expressed taste for the erotic and his suggestion that there was not enough of it in poetry.

In this neat tongue-in-cheek, Heaney displays the erotic in his prose-poem, even though his sexy fiddlehead ferns, frilled, infolded, tenderised,/ in a little steaming basket, just for you might not be precisely what Toraiwa had in mind!

  • Fiddleheads are edible ferns, eaten raw, steamed, simmered or sautéed as a luxury throughout the eastern states of the USA, though little known elsewhere; Heaney has clearly enjoyed these delicious things;
  • three sections: questions about the delicacy; the connection; the erotic!
  • sound effects: Heaney runs with the [ɪ] sound of the title Fiddleheads/ delicious things I think/ erotic/ frilled/ infolded/ little alongside it the variant (i) sound  [ai] Ireland/ surprised/ tenderized.