Lovers on Aran

Heaney expands the sea/land relationship of Valediction settling on an extended metaphor that encapsulates a couple’s togetherness and mutual fulfilment (they are on holiday off the west coast of Ireland in a place where land and sea meet and inter-react). The poem should be read in the context of seduction and sensual communion of man and woman. The sea, both elemental force and feminine symbol, seeks to possess the landmass she comes up against. Her Waves have broken constantly since time began onto this southern Irish island-shoreline, reflecting and refracting light (bright … broken glass … dazzling … glinting); her waves have rolled in from distant, exotic lands (Americas) examining and fragmenting matter (sifting … sifting); her waves are pursuing […]