Written for:  dVerse Poets:  Artisans – Seamus Heaney

The challenge is to write a poem about an artisan or wright, for example a weaver, thatcher, wheelwright or carpenter, or any other craftsman you can think of. It can be a real person, you or someone you know, or a fictional person. All I ask is that you emulate the form and/or style of one of the Heaney poems.


Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

                        ~Seamus Heaney

Cartoonist creates caricature swiftly,
a few bold strokes drawn thickly.

Watch him at his easel now
easily capturing smile or frown.

Who is he lampooning? a singer or a movie star?
I see an enormous teardrop, and beating heart so far.

No one poses in front of him, waiting.
Can it be himself,  sad clown, self-hating?

Poetics: Artisans

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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6 Responses to Cartoonists

  1. kim881 says:

    Oh, I love this, Sarah! Although there are some well-known cartoonists – one of my personal favourites is Gerald Scarfe – not a lot is known about the people behind the hand behind the cartoon. An interesting and intriguing way to end a poem – your question got me thinking about how many cartoonists I actually know the names of and what I know about them personally.


  2. Waltermarks says:

    I think we too lampoon ourselves in our writing. The things that touch us in the depths of our souls are the expressions we print. Like the cartoonist, there is a part of us left on the page behind

    Liked by 1 person

  3. frankhubeny says:

    Cartoonists may be drawing themselves in some way. I wish I could do it. Nice emulation of Heaney’s poem.


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