Living with Poetry | Oatmeal Cookies for Seamus Heaney

oatmeal cookies6.jpg

On August 30, I awoke to the news that Irish poet Seamus Heaney had passed away. Quickly reading a few lines in the New York Times piece announcing his death. My reaction was not unlike Dan Chiasson's, who eulogized Heaney so beautifully in the New Yorker.

Poets place their voices inside our heads, so close to our thoughts that it feels as though we’ve thought them up. It is odd when they make the news, which they do only occasionally, and only by making it very big, by winning the Nobel Prize, as Heaney did, and by dying. It is like learning from the media something secret about yourself, something you thought you’d kept well hidden.

Since it was a Friday, a day I spend working from home, this allowed me to pull out Good to Grain while my computer started up, and having accidentally bought an extra bag of oats at the store before using what I already had in the pantry, I was in the mood to grind them to flour and make something comforting. (Nevermind that this was one of the hottest days of the month and this baking project would require the use of a toasty oven.) 

I settled on the iced oatmeal cookies. 

While they baked, I clicked through links my writer friends posted on Facebook. I came across the poem below, and immediately felt a great loss after reading it. It's electric, like being pulled through a current, having to trust his words will lead you to shore. And they do. You'll be breathless by the end, but clinging to that rock. 

Seamus Heaney Poem.jpg

Read a poem. Eat a cookie. Repeat. 

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

For the recipe, visit Smitten Kitchen, whose cookies look positively perfect.