Mark Fraser: Day Three Hundred and Forty Eight – Stranger Fruit

Posted on December 14, 2011 by

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It’s actually gotten to the stage where I have to look at the post from yesterday to figure out what number of day we’re on.

Anyway, some people found yesterday’s post uplifting. That’s good, and I’m actually working on a poem related to yesterdays post which may or may not see the light of day some time soon.

What I’m about to post is probably not that uplifting. However it is pretty powerful.

I’ve already posted some Seamus Heaney and the poem posted by him before was taken from his collection ‘North’ which this next poem also happens to be taken from. You can read a nice wee article which talks about this poem here. As ever all right belong to the original author.

Strange Fruit
by Seamus Heaney

Here is the girl’s head like an exhumed gourd.
Oval-faced, prune-skinned, prune-stones for teeth.
They unswaddled the wet fern of her hair
And made an exhibition of its coil,
Let the air at her leathery beauty.
Pash of tallow, perishable treasure:
Her broken nose is dark as a turf clod,
Her eyeholes blank as pools in the old workings.
Diodorus Siculus confessed
His gradual ease among the likes of this:
Murdered, forgotten, nameless, terrible
Beheaded girl, outstaring axe
And beatification, outstaring
What had begun to feel like reverence.

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Posted in: Mark Fraser