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Oysters

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by

Carolyn Landry

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Oysters

Oysters
My tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with starlight:
And philandering sigh of ocean
We had driven to that coast
I saw damp panniers disgorge
And was angry that my trust could not repose
In the clear light, like poetry or freedom
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me all into verb,
pure verb
Leaning in from the sea, I ate the day
Glut of privilege
By: Seamus Heaney
Our shells clacked on the plates
As I tasted the salty Pleiades
Orion dipped his foot into the water.
Millions of the ripped and shucked and scattered
Through flowers and limestone
Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,
The Romans hauled their oysters south to Rome:
The frond-lipped, brine-stung
In the cool of thatch and crockery
Laying down a perfect memory
And there we were, toasting friendship,
Seamus Heaney
This poem was in "Field Work"
When he wrote this collection he was living in a country cottage away from the violence of Belfast
Heaney believed there was "significant tension" in his life due to his mother's ties with the Industrial Revolution and his father's with farming

They lay on their beds of ice

Bivalves: the split bulb





Paraphrase
Alive and violated

Our shells clattered on the plates.
My mouth filled with salt,
The taste of starlight in my mouth:
As I tasted the salty Pleiades,
Orion dipped his foot into the water.

Alive and disturbed,
The oysters lay on the ice:
Two halves: the split bulb
And unfaithful sigh of ocean.
Millions of oysters ripped and split open and scattered.

We had driven to the coast
Through flowers and limestone
And there we were, making a toast to our friendship,
Creating a perfect memory
Under our thatched roof with our serving dishes.

Our shells
clacked
on the plates.
My
tongue was a filling estuary,
My palate hung with the
starlight
:
As I tasted the salty

Pleiades
Orion
dipped his foot into the water.
Alive and
violated
They lay on their beds of ice:
Bivalves: the split bulb
And
philandering
sigh of the ocean
Millions of the
ripped
and
shucked
and
scattered
We had driven to that
coast
Through
flowers
and limestone
And there we were,
toasting friendship
,
Laying down a
perfect memory
In the cool of thatch and
crockery
Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,
The Romans hauled their oysters south to Rome:
I saw damp panniers
disgorge
The frond-lipped, brine
stung
Glut
of privilege
And was angry that my trust could not repose
In the clear light,
like poetry or freedom
Leaning in from the sea.
I ate the day
Deliberately, that its tang
Might quicken me all into
verb, pure verb.

Over the alps, deep in the snow and hay
I saw the Romans bring their oysters south to Rome
Their damp baskets poured
The frond edged, salt stung
Abundance of privilege

And was angry that my trust could not rest
In the clear light, like poetry or freedom
Leaning away from the sea. I ate the day
With purpose so its sharpness
Might push all of me into action
Five stanzas with five lines each
Goes from tranquility to troubled thoughts
Full transcript