District and Circle

  A sequence of 5 sonnets bears the title Heaney chose for the collection as a volume, after long consideration of alternatives. The poems are based on his memories of early-days’ vacation work in London, tempered by subsequent terrorist attacks on London transport. Heaney weaves mythological images of the underworld into the corridors and levels of the London ‘tube’. Michael Schneider suggests that ‘unless you know he’s referring to the Edgeware Road station, where the District and Circle lines converge, site of 2005 terrorist bombs, you miss much of the resonance of a poem in which death is a ghostly presence’ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 08, 2006 Heaney  recalled to DOD that he ‘removed 2 sonnets from the ‘Tollund Man’ sequence […]