Seamus Heaney

England’s Difficulty

I moved like a double agent among the big concepts.
        The word ‘enemy’ had the toothed efficiency of a mowing
machine. It was a mechanical and distant noise beyond that
opaque security, that autonomous ignorance.
        ‘When the Germans bombed Belfast it was the bitterest
Orange parts were hit the worst.’
        I was on somebody’s shoulder, conveyed through the starlit
yard to see the sky glowing over Anahorish. Grown-ups lowered 
their voices and resettled in the kitchen as if tired out after an
        Behind the blackout, Germany called to lamplit kitchens
through fretted baize, dry battery, wet battery, capillary wires,
domed valves that squeaked and burbled as the dial-hand ab-
solved Stuttgart and Leipzig.
        “He’s an artist, this Haw Haw. He can fairly leave it into
        I lodged with ‘the enemies of Ulster’, the scullions outside
the walls. An adept at banter, I crossed the lines with carefully
enunciated passwords, manned every speech with checkpoints
and reported back to nobody.