(from Dante, Inferno, xxxii, xxxiii) Heaney closes Field Work with passages translated from Dante’s original text. The following commentary does not provide detailed textual survey but provides definitions as a means to understanding the narrative plus coloured-hearing that showcases Heaney’s craftsmanship even in translation.  Further comments and references relate to Heaney’s decision to complete Field Work in this grisly way. In a collection that spends a deal of its time bolstering Heaney’s decision in 1972 to relocate with his family to the Irish Republic and sever his contacts the North this ‘black painting’ of the medieval Ugolino episode, though he might downplay it, provokes Heaney’s sense of outrage at political developments effectively triggered from Whitehall. He explained the twin intent […]