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Stone-walling

The Kerry Landman Memorial Tree in a park in Ontario, Canada, by Eric Landman (a memorial to Kerry, his wife, who died in 2011)

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 let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

‘Scaffolding’, by Seamus Heaney

Update: for a very good account of the the Kerry Landman Memorial Tree, see the feature on it on the Twisted Sifter blog (which I’ve just discovered, 4 months after originally posting this). See also my Famous Seamus post, written just after Seamus Heany died in 2013

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