Anything Can Happen

  Of the outrages that occurred increasingly regularly in the 5 years following Heaney’s previous published volume, it was the ‘strike’ of 9/11 that persuaded him to write Anything Can Happen. He adapts Horace’s Ode I, 34  drawing implicit attention to the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. This act had brought Heaney to a ‘terrified awareness ‘that ‘the tallest things can be brought low’ and demonstrated that absolutely nothing was beyond the bounds of possibility. Both poems introduce Jupiter from classical mythology; sovereign God of the Romans, omnipotent, identified with the sky, storms and lightning. In the Heaney version Jupiter will mostly wait for clouds to gather head/ Before he hurls the […]