Late in the Day

Drawn from his readings and personal experiences Heaney dips into recorded events, real and mystical individuals and landscapes on both sides of the Irish Sea. Heaney’s title alludes also to the creative spirit’s small-hours wait for inspiration. Heaney pulls out an episode recounted by an illustrious Irish medical figure of 1849 reviewing the antiquities and spiritual sites along the river Boyne. He picks out the story of a miracle that helped a humble monk along the road to sainthood: a scribe (monk of Clonard) … dedicated (working late) … suddenly plunged in darkness (candle burnt out) … a supernatural occurrence – writing implement turned torch (quill pen feathered itself) that produced the miraculous light enabling the cleric to fulfil his […]