The poem explore a youngster’s hero-worship of a cow-man from a mysterious Irish Republic background, highly skilled in working with cattle around the farm spending his day off wagering his income. The ‘big country’ landscapes of the title  and the country music the cowman croons recall the silver-screen  relationship that grew between boy Joey Starrett and cowboy Shane in the 1953 western film .‘Shane’ was set in Wyoming, USA; Dologhan has ‘worked in Montana’, a neighbouring State. The poem is set in the early 1940s. Heaney deploys a series of cinematic effects … ‘Lights…Camera … action …’ Take 1: set in an Ulster farmyard with its characteristic double-panel stable doors – a youngster’s attention (I was five years old) is […]