The Betrothal of Cavehill

A formal engagement ceremony is about to be celebrated; a young couple wish to get on with the important things in life despite the backdrop of divided Ulster. Heaney and fiancée Marie Devlin, both from mid-Ulster rural backgrounds spent their undergraduate lives in Belfast. In the troubled Belfast of the 1960s sectarian stand-offs seeking ‘ownership’ of locations were common (gunfire barks its questions off Cavehill). The hill’s napoleonic nose shape (profiled) looks down unerringly (maintains it stare) over the religious and political make-up of wards to its south: hard (basalt) and all things Unionist – self-satisfied (proud)  dominated by non-Catholics like himself (protestant), part of the United Kingdom (northern), run by men (male). Heaney takes a good natured poke at […]