Conversation of a Lifetime

Mount Congreve Garden, Co. Waterford

I came across a question yesterday on Twitter, with a picture of a seat overlooking an ocean,  that had me thinking long into the night. Here’s what it was:

If you could spend an hour on this seat talking with one person (past or present), who would it be?

While I was thinking about the possible contenders, I decided that the seat should be in precious Mount Congreve, but I found it very difficult to nominate one person.

Part of me wanted to have the pleasure of an hour with a personal loved one who has died but I decided that I couldn’t face seeing him/her walk away at the end of the hour.

The person I finally came up with was Nobel Prize winning poet, Seamus Heaney ( 1939-2013), whose poetry I adore and who made such a lasting impression on me when I heard him read at The Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2009.

Here’s one of his poems that I’d loved to have him read to me in that wonderful voice of his:


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 seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

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

Seamus Heaney

So who would YOU choose to chat with for that one special hour?