Settings xix

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, moments, models and emotions of primary experience, from where he weighed up what ‘in time … was extra, unforeseen and free’ (Markings I). Settings xix sets out a diorama of memory à la Heaney that features things that might play/ have played a role in its genesis. The reader peeks in as if from behind glass or through a peep-hole. Heaney paints a stage-set: something built […]