1 The Ministry of Fear

dedicated to Seamus Deane. The initial interjection Well announces that Heaney is poised to speak of events from his personal biography: his important places is borrowed from Patrick Kavanagh’s Epic of 1938:important places, times/ When great events were decided. His first ‘monument’ (in the Yeatsian sense) is St Columb’s College in Derry (where billeted as a boarder Heaney lived out his secondary education), situated on its lonely scarp (he transfers the epithet: he was the lonely one!) overlooking the Bogside where Seamus Deane was born. For a first-year secondary-schoolboy from the provinces it provided a vision of new worlds and the poet clearly recalls one landmark: the floodlit dogtrack and the raucous cries of its race-night punters: the inflamed throat […]