An Afterwards

Seamus and Marie Heaney were strong individuals with differing personalities (‘our separateness’ of Glanmore Sonnet X), so the occasional contretemps is natural to a healthy relationship between two people faced with different priorities – his to make sure the bills were paid, hers to make sure their children enjoyed their fair share of father’s time. Marie Heaney has reached an emotional flash-point! Her husband’s constant withdrawal up the ‘narrow winding stair’ to his workroom to meet a deadline or inhabit the world where poets were his ‘next of kin’ is an abdication of responsibility. Heaney selects a scene from Dante’s Inferno to play out a dramatic exchange between man and wife. Once when Marie reached the end of her tether […]