Recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;

from Seamus Heaney – The Forge on Rap Genius

Meaning

In this line the speaker reminisces of the time when his work was needed, hes references the “clatter of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows” referring to a time when the street beyond his place of business was not filled with cars, but with horses.(this can be further inferred from line five “Or the hiss when a new shoe toughens in water”) This line also shows the speakers resentment of change, and how the modern world finds him obsolete.

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