Glanmore Sonnets – 4

                                                                                                  IV Heaney vaults neatly over the recent past in Belfast to land in his rural surroundings at Mossbawn farm skirted by the Castledawson railway line. Precociously curious, the child-poet-to-be was interested in the messages of sound … if one knew how, the railway track (lie with an ear to the line), he was told (they said), would broadcast in advance (a sound escaping ahead) the metallic song (iron tune) of an express steam locomotive (flange and piston) speeding headlong by (pitched along the ground). Nothing so romantic happened in his case (I never heard that) – just the echoes of freight traffic (struck couplings and shuntings) from Castledawson marshalling-yard (two miles away) carried through space (lifted over the woods). […]