Bog Queen

Heaney allegorizes an event recorded on the Moira estate (in Co Lisburn) in the Autumn of 1780 or Spring of 1781 at a time of Anglo-Scottish ‘occupation’. He voices the poem to the first bog body dug up in Ireland. The Bog Queen’s body lies dead yet sleeping (waiting) at the interface between the peat bog (turf face) in which it is preserved and the boundary of Anglo-Scottish landownership (demesne wall), between Irish peat deposits (heathery levels) below and the non-Irish ‘Keep Out’ signs (glass-toothed stone) above. Her body bears the marks and messages of Nature’s unseeing trespassers (braille for the creeping influences), the extreme effects of temperature – groped then cooled by the orbiting sun – consumed (through my […]