North

Wrestling with questions about his current status and mindset Heaney has felt the need for solitude; he would benefit in his uncertainty from the reassurance of a counselling voice. The speaker revisits a stretch of the Donegal coast, a shod of a bay. The sounds he is hearing recall the god Thor who in Viking mythology hammered to create land, sea and heavens. Conscious of his own sensitivities and temperament the poet has come to seek release from the build-up of inner tensions emanating from uncertainty about the way his poetry is presenting. The first forceful voice he hears is of this earth, not yet the counselling voice he seeks: only the secular powers of the Atlantic thundering. His gaze […]