Hi Everyone! Guess what! This is not Jessica.

Take a deep breath. Everything’s going to be okay. I promise.

My name is Mary, and I’m one of Jessica’s particularly nerdy friends. I’m a first-year graduate student in English Literature at the University of Virginia,  a nerdfighter, and a bookaholic. I work primarily with contemporary and modern poetry at UVA, so I hope to bring some more poetry to Nisaba Be Praised in the next few months. I have been harboring my own ill-updated book-themed blog on tumblr, so when Jessica invited me to come and contribute to this blog it seemed perfect.

My main literary loves are poetry (of most periods), young adult fiction, fantasy fiction, and nineteenth century British novels. I detest autobiography irrationally.

I’m participating in the 50 book challenge this year. I’m also participating in the POC reading challenge, but at what level I’m not sure of. At least 3, hopefully more.

Aside from the occasional review of or ramble about a book, I also plan to post weekly poems, starting right now. The first poem I chose is one that I particularly love and  that I’ve known for a long time. It’s by Seamus Heaney and appeared in his 1975 volume North. It’s the sixth and final poem in the sequence “Singing School.”

6. Exposure

It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.

A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite!
Instead I walk through damp leaves,
Husks, the spent flukes of autumn,

Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.

How did I end up like this?
I often think of my friends’
Beautiful prismatic counselling
And the anvil brains of some who hate me

As I sit weighing and weighing
My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people?
For what is said behind-backs?

Rain comes down through the alders,
Its low conducive voices
Mutter about let-downs and erosions
And yet each drop recalls

The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer;
An inner émigré, grown long-haired
And thoughtful; a wood-kerne

Escaped from the massacre,
Taking protective colouring
From bole and bark, feeling
Every wind that blows;

Who, blowing up these sparks
For their meagre heat, have missed
The once-in-a-lifetime portent,
The comet’s pulsing rose.


2 thoughts on “Changes!

  1. Thank you so much for joining the poc reading challenge :) And hey I’m looking to apply to UVA, cool coincidence.

    And oh how do you hate autobiographies?? Maybe try Losing My Cool, it’s great. It’s about the culture clash of hip hop and education, so good!

    Is this the Seamus Heaney who translated Beowulf?

  2. What program are you looking into at UVA? It’s a neat school.

    I don’t know why I hate autobiographies… I’ve read plenty, but I just hold some sort of grudge against them. But I am not too keen on biography either, sooo…. However, after looking at Losing My Cool on Amazon, I am intrigued! And it is held in the very library I’m sitting in right now– a coincidence, or FATE?!

    Anyway, yes! this is the same Heaney.

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