Eight lines produce an outstanding distillation of Irish landscape, Celtic mythology and the sounds and associations of language and music. The piece culminates in an expression of the pure joy of being alive and Irish, echoing the poetry of legendary Irish giant Finn McCool. The first tree Heaney espies (rowan) is female oriented, ideally shaped and coloured to house a Celtic wood nymph (like a lipsticked girl) growing alone at the junction of ancient and modern Ireland (between the by-road and the main road). Then trees with male associations (alder) braving the Irish climate (wet and dripping) distant and detached from humbler marshy flora (stand off among the rushes). Some Irish legends had it that the first woman came from […]