Ireland Calling
Ireland Calling Store


Follower is a moving poem written by Seamus Heaney. It describes how Heaney always looked up to his father when he was a child and how he would follow him round the farm.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
Seamus Heaney

Follower was voted as one of Ireland’s 100 favourite poems by readers of the Irish Times.

Follower by Seamus Heaney. Image copyright Ireland Calling


My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.

Follower by Seamus Heaney. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Click here to buy on Amazon

Sign up to our FREE newsletters

Please click on your confirmation email,
Check your junk mail folder in case it gets sent there.

Seamus Heaney


All images copyright Ireland Calling

Ireland's 100 favourite poems

Celtic phone cases

Beautiful Celtic phone cases available

XSLT Plugin by Leo Jiang