In yet another so-called ‘marriage poem’ the poet seeks to rebalance his relationship with a wife who has felt neglected. Analogizing the best of Dutch engineering in the light of his and Marie’s spits and spats on relationship issues Heaney portrays her as a stretch of reclaimed waterland (polder) ever susceptible to water, weather or, in poetic allegory, domestic moodiness (sudden outburst … squalls). His reclamation was the physical act of embracing her (hooped) mindful (remembered) of linguistic correspondences (what could be contained) between the wife in his tight supportive clench (caliper embrace) and words of Dutch provenance –physical closeness (bosom) and perfect fit (fathom) both its Old Norse meaning of ‘embrace’ and its measure and length (what the extended […]