Field of Vision

Heaney’s Aunt Mary whom he adored as a youngster is the central focus of Sunlight, a lyrical vignette from his early life in Mossbawn that introduces the North collection of 1975. Field of vision recalls the increasingly limited outlook the old aunt was reduced to in her last years. Heaney admired her fortitude and in this poem spends some time ‘seeing things’ through her eyes. Ultimately the stage Mary has reached contributes to young man’s feeling that it will soon be time to leave the family home. Prior to her hospitalization in the mid-70s Mary coped with a long period of immobility in the family home (sat for years In a wheelchair). Silence prevails in her living quarters. Mary’s gaze does […]