Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CASTALIAN SPRING, by SEAMUS HEANEY



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CASTALIAN SPRING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thunderface. Not zeus's ire, but hers


Thunderface. Not Zeus's ire, but hers
Refusing entry, and mine mounting from it.
This one thing I had vowed: to drink the waters
Of the Castalian Spring, to arrogate
That much to myself and be the poet
Under the god Apollo's giddy cliff—
But the inner water sanctum was roped off
When we arrived. Well then, to hell with that,
And to hell with all who'd stop me, thunderface!
So up the steps then, into the sandstone grottoes,
The seeps and dreeps, the shallow pools, the mosses,
Come from beyond, and come far, with this useless
Anger draining away, on terraces
Where I bowed and mouthed in sweetness and defiance.


First Published in The Kenyon Review, Volume 23 #2 (Spring 2001).
www.kenyonreview.org/roth






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