Incertus, the pen name Heaney gave himself in the early Belfast days of poetry writing never really goes away. The poet has come to seek release from a build-up of inner tensions, be they generated by the depressing state of Northern Ireland or his nagging uncertainty about the way his poetry is presenting. To help him cope with troubling issues Heaney has felt the need for solitude in which to receive the benefit and reassurance of a counselling voice. The speaker is standing on a sandy beach (strand) along the rugged Donegal coast (shod of a bay). The sheer power of what he is hearing brings to mind the god Thor who in Viking mythology hammered to create land, sea […]