Ballynahinch Lake

for Eamon Grennan Godi. Fanciullo mio, stato soave, Stagion lieta è cotesta. The epigraph is from Leopardi’s ‘II Sabato del Villaggio’ (‘Saturday in the Village’): ‘Enjoy the sweet hour, my child, in this pleasant and delightful season’. Heaney spent countless hours behind the wheel of his car drinking in the surroundings. The sight and sounds of something that carried poetic charge might bring his journey to a temporary halt. Ballynahinch Lake is much more, however, than the richly textured description of water-birds taking to the air within an idyllic frame – it dips into the private subtleties of husband-wife relationship … of things said and unsaid … routines that may not always suit both parties. By poem’s end one wonders whether […]