Lightenings ix

  Heaney offers 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); Three triplets revisit a childhood moment when child-Heaney felt totally happy, comfortable and secure; the final triplet reveals the sadness of a poet in his fifties for whom the loss of those who nursed him on that day undermines the old certainties. The insecurity generated by the scary boat movement at Inishbofin (Seeing Things I) is replaced: the craft in which they stand on  Lough Neagh within a few miles […]