A Herbal

after Guillevic’s ‘Herbier de Bretaagne Eugène Guillevic (1907-1957; b. Carnac, Morbihan, Brittany, France) who used only his family name; well-known French regional poet of the second half of the 20th century.   The sequence comprises 19 short pieces, the longest of 15 lines. The dedication’s after confirms that Heaney is offering his own version of a French poem altered to adapt it to Ireland’s flora, his own non-coastal surroundings and to meet his own poetic priorities.  He is loyal to the original text but omits some sections and re-orders others. He adds a personal incident involving himself and Marie Heaney where the original text offers the possibility. The sequence produces plants in their natural environment with human voices, emotions and distinct […]