Synge on Aran

Heaney likens the wind’s erosive force to a human voice capable of equal abrasiveness in his portrayal of a much respected literary Irishman who, around 1900, spent time in exile on one of the Aran islands in Galway Bay in a vain attempt to overcome a life-threatening illness. On Aran the elemental power of Nature overwhelms what stands in its way … Synge is of the same uncompromising stock and the final couplet summarizes the physical and emotional correspondences between the man and his adopted environment. From all points of the compass the four winds of Aran, their sword- blades sharpened by salt off the sea, abrade the island landscape (peel and pare down). Neither the karst limestone (locked rock) […]