Heaney alluded to his father’s recurrent presence in Seeing Things in conversation with DOD: My father’s death in October 1986 was the final ‘unroofing’ of the world and I’m certain it affected me in ways that were hidden from me then and now. (p322). This brief poem, dated fewer than three months after Patrick Heaney’s death sees the poet facing a New Year still fresh with the pain of bereavement. Bleak midwinter offers no warmth to cheer Heaney’s way ahead (Dangerous pavements). His capacity to cope with the physical and emotional challenges (I face the ice this year)  is bolstered by a symbol seen already in The Ash Plant, the iconic support that kept his father’s feet firmly on the […]