An astonishing image used by Seamus Heaney in his ‘Requiem for the Croppies’, as he explains here regarding the poem written 50 years after the Easter Uprising: 

The poem was born of and ended with an image of resurrection based on the fact that some time after the rebels were buried in common graves, these graves began to sprout with young barley, growing up from the barley corn which the ‘croppies’ had carried in their pockets to eat on the march. 

See also this moving video recitation of the poem, made by Richard Gallagher.

 

Source: Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers: Selected prose 1971-2001 (London: Faber and Faber, 2003), p. 23

Photo credit: Kranich17 at pixabay

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