The morning after I die


translated from Romanian by Seamus Heaney

The morning after I die
Will be cool, like those misty September dawns
When the dog-days are over
And I blink awake in white air, making strange
At a woolly light in the trees.
And because it’s September, I’ll have come to
Very early and – again like September –
Be lonely enough to keep hearing
The air drip-dripping towards noon  
Down the wet cheeks of quinces;
I’ll be in a drowse,
Praying to get back to sleep
For a little while longer,
Lying there, never moving,  
Eyes closed, my face in the pillow,
As the deafening silence beats louder
And louder and wakens me up more and more.

The start
Of that eternal day
Will be like a morning in autumn.

Excerpted from The Translations of Seamus Heaney by Seamus Heaney and edited by Marco Sonzogni. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 2022 by The Estate of Seamus Heaney. Introduction and editorial material copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.