All I Know

One of the first poems I ever loved was The Forge by Seamus Heaney. I was intrigued by its first line (“All I know is a door into the dark”) with its suggestion of mystery and danger. I saw the poem as a celebration of creativity, and was seduced by Heaney’s mythic blacksmith, expending himself ‘in shape and music’.

I should have paid attention to the rest of the poem; noted the grunts of the blacksmith working the bellows, beating ‘real iron out’ in darkness and solitude.

I should have read it as a warning.