Seamus Heaney

The Given Note

On the most westerly Blasket  
In a dry-stone hut 
He got this air out of the night.

Strange noises were heard 
By others who followed, bits of a tune  
Coming in on loud weather

Though nothing like melody. 
He blamed their fingers and ear  
As unpractised, their fiddling easy

For he had gone alone into the island  
And brought back the whole thing.  
The house throbbed like his full violin.

So whether he calls it spirit music  
Or not, I don’t care. He took it  
Out of wind off mid-Atlantic.

Still he maintains, from nowhere. 
It comes off the bow gravely, 
Rephrases itself into the air.