The Bookcase

  A bookcase standing in the Heaney home indicates the joint tastes of Heaney and Marie and triggers layers of association in the mind of a widely read, aesthetically-sensitive and highly imaginative Irish poet. The piece is constructed to high specification and entirely fit for purpose – made of quality material (ashwood or oakwood); expertly prepared (planed to silkiness) and joined (mitred); each length of wood tested for straightness (much eyed-along) and naturally coloured (vellum-pale); shelves that have stood the test of weight and time (held and never sagged) – in short, perfection (virtue … from its very shipshapeness). Heaney’s memory-eye comes to rest on a book-spine that by its colour triggers a 1940s’/50s’association (rough blue paper bags loose sugar […]