In celebrating an individual in a poem, a poet can uncover a self-truth in the reality of another. In the sequence on his mother in The Haw Lantern, Seamus Heaney reveals not only details of a family life but his sensitivity to the gift of their relationship. At her deathbed, recalling their peeling potatoes together, he writes " I remembered her head bent towards my head/ Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives--/Never closer the whole rest of our lives." (Poem 3).
Neva Herrington is a poet and former educator. She is currently working on a new book of poetry, a collection of short stories, and her memoir. Her inspiration comes from her own experience and the work of other poets.