In a Loaning

The collection’s  penultimate poem returns to the ‘kesh’ and ‘loaning’ of Heaney’s Ulster landscape. A short poem of both celebration and relief published in the New York Times of December 31st, 2005. Writing poetry is complex; ‘vers  donnés’, lines with poetic charge, are not automatic. If, as has been suggested Heaney was re-discovering his voice after a lean period of writer’s block it is interesting to recall that when his first collection of 1965 was under discussion with Faber he was urged to compose poems about what he knew. Heaney reverts to his cherished birth- place environment. Paradoxically, autumn, traditionally  described as the ‘back-end’ of the annual cycle, represents rebirth (recovered speech), a sense of poetic composition coming naturally (having […]