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From The Frontier Of Writing

Written by: Seamus Heaney | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 The tightness and the nilness round that space 
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect 
its make and number and, as one bends his face 

towards your window, you catch sight of more 
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent 
down cradled guns that hold you under cover 

and everything is pure interrogation 
until a rifle motions and you move 
with guarded unconcerned acceleration— 

a little emptier, a little spent 
as always by that quiver in the self, 
subjugated, yes, and obedient.
So you drive on to the frontier of writing where it happens again.
The guns on tripods; the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating data about you, waiting for the squawk of clearance; the marksman training down out of the sun upon you like a hawk.
And suddenly you're through, arraigned yet freed, as if you'd passed from behind a waterfall on the black current of a tarmac road past armor-plated vehicles, out between the posted soldiers flowing and receding like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.



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