‘Evening Poem’ by Seán Hewitt

Good evening! I hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter weekend. I have to admit I’ve enjoyed the Easter holidays very much and am a little sad that my youngest is off back to school tomorrow and me back to uni. But all good things come to an end, as they say.

As I’ve not shared any poems for a couple of days I’ll do more than one tonight. First up we have ‘Evening Poem’ by Seán Hewitt from his debut collection Tongues of Fire (2020), published by Jonathan Cape. Seán is a book critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin (Seán Hewitt n.d.). Michael Longley says on the cover of the Tongues of FIre: “Seán Hewitt understands that poetic form is sacred and mysterious. In these godforsaken times his reverent procedures are food for the soul” (Longley 2020).

I hope you enjoy the poem I’ve chosen to share this evening and you can purchase a copy Tongues of Fire here.


Evening Poem

First the clatter-iron blackbird,
its fanatical shuddering in the magnolia.

Dusk, and the garden is re-assembling,
calling its sparrows home,

and what a voice-racket under the aucuba
(doors closing to) and each sparrow

an iron-filing sweeping the field-lines
of the garden. I sit out in the last warmth

and watch it all come to rest:
the light falling, the thrushes settling

in the sycamores at the far end
of the lawn, how each tree lowers itself

under a new weight, and I hold out
for a while for everything to darken,

for the birds to stop singing, as though
I am teaching myself again to bear it.


References

Hewitt, S. (2020) ‘Evening Poem’ from Tongues of Fire. London: Jonathan Cape, 37

Hewitt, S. (n.d.) Seán Hewitt Writer: Biography [online]. Available from https://www.seanehewitt.com/biography [18 April 2022]

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