A Pillowed Head

  Pillowed Head records the unforgettable day on which Heaney’s daughter Catherine Ann was born in April 1973. Marie has entered labour and they are hospital-bound. MatutinaI describes the dawn, its multi-syllabic, staccato suddenness injecting pace into whatever is going on and sharpening senses. The vivid sky throws out maternity clues: iridescent Mother-of-pearl; premature Summer come early; raw and bloody Slashed carmines; watery washed milky blues. The journey is uncongested (first on the road) amidst early-morning chill (ground-mist) and wildlife (pheasants). After a seven year break (older and grateful) Heaney has good reason to feel buoyant: Marie is eager to get on with it (half-grateful/ The pangs had begun) having given birth twice before (clear-headed, foreknowing) and mentally prepared (full […]