Wednesday Poem

The Journey Back

Larkin’s shade surprised me. He quoted Dante:

“Daylight was going and the umber air
Soothing every creature on the earth,
Freeing them from their labors everywhere.

I alone was girding myself to face
The ordeal of my journey and my duty
And not a thing had changed, as rush-hour buses

Bore the drained and laden through the city.
I might have been a wise king setting out

Under the Christmas lights—except that

It felt more like a forewarned journey back
Into the heartland of the ordinary.
Still my old self. Ready to knock one back.

A nine-to-five man who had seen poetry.

by Seamus Heaney
Seeing Things
Faber & Faber, 1991