Twice Shy: Daily Dose of Poetry and Art

Twice Shy: Daily Dose of Poetry and Art

Idylle by Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin
Idylle by Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin

A poem by one of my favorite poets, Seamus Heaney that commemorates his first walk with the woman who would become his wife. Although the poem clearly describes a cityscape, with hushed traffic, and a modern couple, I really liked this image of pastoral lovers by Impressionist Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin. And I think it fits the mood if not the details.

Twice Shy

by Seamus Heaney

Her scarf a la Bardot,
In suede flats for the walk,
She came with me one evening
For air and friendly talk.
We crossed the quiet river,
Took the embankment walk.

Traffic holding its breath,
Sky a tense diaphragm:
Dusk hung like a backcloth
That shook where a swan swam,
Tremulous as a hawk
Hanging deadly, calm.

A vacuum of need
Collapsed each hunting heart
But tremulously we held
As hawk and prey apart,
Preserved classic decorum,
Deployed our talk with art.

Our Juvenilia
Had taught us both to wait,
Not to publish feeling
And regret it all too late –
Mushroom loves already
Had puffed and burst in hate.

So, chary and excited,
As a thrush linked on a hawk,
We thrilled to the March twilight
With nervous childish talk:
Still waters running deep
Along the embankment walk.

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