Heaney’s exploration of his Irish heritage in all its twists and turns is mightily important to him. The six-poem sequence explores selected lines of connection, correspondence and closeness and the pieces sit in a landscape of which Heaney feels himself very much a part. In the first 5 poems kinship describes affinity, fellow feelings, at-oneness from the landscape’s beginnings via Celtic myths and rituals to Heaney’s lost domain of mid-Ulster childhood. The sequence’s grim finale acknowledges that, as Heaney composes, the cycles of murder and revenge evident in Northern Ireland in the name of religion and politics are simply the latest version of an earlier inhumanity driven by distant tribal and ritual instincts. I The first piece is triggered by […]