The Tollund Man in Springtime

Heaney reintroduces his iron-age hero, whose sacrificially murdered body had been miraculously preserved in a Jutland peat-bog since the 4th century BC, recovered in 1950 and exhibited in Silkeborg, Denmark. Interestingly Heaney has used a similar device in Sweeney Redevivus (Station Island Part 3) where he joins forces with Sweeney, a legendary, exiled Irish king endowed with the gift of flight, takes a bird’s-eye-view of the landscape below and reacts to what he finds. This sequence might equally be entitled ‘Tollund Man Redevivus’. Heaney first introduced Tollund Man in ‘Wintering Out’ of 1972. In a newspaper article of April, 2006, he talked about his re-appearance: ‘He came again to remind me that lyric poetry was OK … I love the […]