Lightenings i

  Heaney offered his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the Squarings poems: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320). This first Lightening‘s airiness resides in the dazzling sky above, its earthiness in the roofless ‘Irish’ farmstead in which a vagrant figure waits ; its obscurity, more personal and complicated, derives from the poet’s own whirl of feelings involving the loss of both parents (‘the final unroofing of the world’ – DOD322) and his exposure to what Helen Vendler refers to as ‘unignorable annihilation’ (138). HV offers her own key to […]