The artist’s mind is in tune with the abyss, lost in ambition, ever driving deeper—wrestling with noises and the spectra of ‘notsense’—all in desperate hope to reach the end, the edge, the platform, the bedrock. Something by which to measure.
So Mr. Heaney jumped to his own transcendent void. Of it he tells me:
Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
My Seamus Heaney says to swim. Dive. Float. Drift. In any and all directions. Lose yourself while you’re at it.
Why call it an abyss? Call it a well, Mr. Heaney. Call it a helicon.
Why so, Mr. Heaney?
Because the bottom of a well is never empty—look down deep enough and you’ll only find yourself looking down on you. And, like a helicon, the sounds you make will be the sounds you hear.
What a tedious spectacle to find!
To sink is the fate of one who wastes all effort to search for a bottom—for the bottom.
Why not explore the darkness instead? Observe it. Let it swallow you, embrace you—live in you. It’s been thought before, but too rarely done.
It becomes a veil of sorts—one that obscures, fools, whose shade morphs to phantasmagoria. A symphony may sound.
Mr. Seamus Heaney, you’ve given me much uncertainty in all this, in the poems. Thanks.