The Clothes Shrine

In praise of women. Heaney composes a poem at once crackling with sexual electricity and diffused with spiritual light. Composed in a single sentence hyphenated to offer three distinctive angles Clothes Shrine harks back on the one hand to the sexuality of Heaney’s and Marie’s early-days’ relationship (he found her sensationally attractive, as he explained in Twice Shy of Death of a Naturalist of 1965) and on the other the shining example of an Irish goddess turned saint; the strengths and qualities embodied in the final quartet apply to both and (unstated) to other strong female influences in Heaney’s life – his own mother and her sister Mary. Heaney chatted to Daljit Nagra in a BBC interview of March 2001 […]