Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Shooting Script -- Seamus Heaney

A Shooting Script -- Seamus Heaney

They are riding away from whatever might have been
Towards what will never be, in a held shot:
Teachers on bicycles, saluting native speakers,
Treading the nineteen-twenties like the future.

Still pedaling out at the end of the lens,
Not getting anywhere and not getting away
Mix to fuchsia that "follows the language."
A long, soundless sequence. Pan and fade.

Then voices over, in different Irishes,
Discussing translation jobs and rates per line;
Like nineteenth century milestones in grass verges,
Occurrence of names like R.M. Ballantyne.

A close-up on the cat's eye of a button
Pulling back wide to the cape of a soutane,
Biretta, Roman collar, Adam's apple.
Freeze on his blank face. Let the credits run

And just when it looks as if it is all over-
Tracking shots of a long wave up a strand
That breaks towards the point of a stick writing and writing
Words in the old script in the running sand.

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