Eelworks

In his interviews with Denis O’Driscoll that make up ‘Stepping Stones’ Heaney reveals his fascination, as he grew up, with Lough Neagh (into which his local Moyola river flowed) and also his experiences of the eel trade (pp93-4). The title of this 6-poem sequence turns out to be the familiar name used to describe the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative (revealed in vi) with which his future wife’s grandfather and father were connected. i ‘Getting ones feet under the table’: being invited into a girl-friend’s family home is seen as a significant stepping-stone in relationships.  In fairy-tales, as in Arthurian legend and Courtly Love, the male aspirants were challenged to show they were worthy of a damsel’s love Heaney’s task is reminiscent: To win the […]