Heaney’s Physics of Ironing

Poetic physics of Seamus Heaney. An excerpt form “The Smoothing Iron.”

Soft thumps on the ironing board.
Her dimpled angled elbow
and intent stoop
as she aimed the smoothing iron

like a plane into linen,
like the resentment of women.
To work, her dumb lunge says,
is to move a certain mass

through a certain distance,
is to pull your weight and feel
exact and equal to it.
Feel dragged upon. And buoyant.

Heaney, Seamus. “The Smoothing Iron.” Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999. Print.