Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Voltage of the language: On storm and Seamus

Late last evening we had the wildest series of thunder, lightning, wind and monsoon rain storm. I turned all the lights off and the apartment lit up intermittently like a muted Jean Michel Jarre concert where he was searching for the notes but the lights were doing their own thing.

At 5am I woke to the news that Seamus had died. Famous Seamus. May he rest in peace.

Saddened immensely though we all are, I am glad he made his exit with this particular weather event at his back. (Even if it were in another timezone). For a man who spent much of his formative years outdoors, based on his father being a cattle dealer and the reoccurrence of bog and turf and digging in his pomes — he might have appreciated a symphony of a weather moment and “the voltage of the language” that comes to the page and eyes from weather.

RTE  are screening a documentary tonight on him at 2235 (Irish time). Tune in if you’re near a telly. Or pick up a book if you’re near your bookshelf.

I think of his family. He may have been a poet — the poet — to the world but for them he was a dad, brother, husband, a man who turned on the tap, boiled the potatoes or carrots dry and probably left a large quantity of newspapers or slender tomes in translation lying about the place that were trod upon by the dog or cat. How to find some privacy for the person when they’re a public figure? How to find the necessary quietness when the world mourns with you? It’s something of headache to navigate at a time of already overwhelming shock and deep sadness.

 

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