Afterthoughts

What is in a title?  Human Chain … Heaney is a master of title, whether for a collection or an individual piece. His sometimes enigmatic, often ingenious headings invite the attentive reader to seek subtly submerged attachments. As regards Human Chain, it emerges that Heaney was carried down the stairs of the accommodation he was sharing with friends when his illness struck en route to the ambulance; he is a hefty six-footer and recognises the physical challenge that this represented. Within a short time he had written Miracle based on a Bible story but featuring the stretcher bearers without whom there would have been no miracle! The metaphor seems to have germinated from this. The Human theme is about body and soul; it is all-encompassing: a personal journey through […]