Kinship describes affinity, fellow feelings and at-oneness. The six-poem sequence explores lines of connection, correspondence and closeness. The pieces sit in a landscape of which Heaney feels himself very much a part. The bog is the unifying factor and Heaney’s close relationship with it takes different forms. I the first piece is triggered by simply standing in its midst. The poet’s ability to read the sacred markings, evidence of the spade marks left where peat has been harvested (hieroglyphic/ peat on a spreadfield) guides him to a kindred spirit beneath the surface: the strangled victim of stone-age ritual sacrifice and the private space, the love-nest in the bracken where she lay preserved. The bog is known to Heaney since childhood […]