Or, in my case, all the books on my shelves I have not yet read.

Instead, I’m reading in Field Work tonight, Seamus Heaney’s 1979 collection of poems. So many lines I love. Such attention to the senses, to the unglamorous realities of daily life, death, the cruelty of the natural world; nonetheless so beautiful.

In Elegy he calls poet Robert Lowell a “welder of English” and, reading Heaney, I say the same of him. Something about reading a welder, to delight in the shape and bend of phrases. To weld: to join, to mend, to merge elements into a greater whole.

the whole craft ringing / with an armourer’s music / the course set wilfully across / the ungovernable and dangerous