A Drink of Water

When he received the David Cohen Prize in March 2009 Heaney had been asked to recite two poems that represented his Lifetime’s Achievement! As his second choice he plumped for A Drink of Water recalling a moment from his childhood when an old woman who drew water every morning revealed herself later as a muse of sorts to him. Heaney remarked that it was ‘about receiving a gift and being enjoined to remember the giver’ … something, the old charmer added, that underlined the value he placed on the Cohen Prize and the evening’s reception. As with all the poems of ‘Field Work’ is worth considering how each individual lyric, elegy and meditative piece contributes in a positive or negative […]