Settings xvi

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic of Seeing Things Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  allowing himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, substances and emotions of primary experience, whence he weighs up what ‘in time  was extra, unforeseen and free’(Markings I). Heaney recalls a childhood rodent killer of massive proportions. Witnessed within the Heaney farmstead the deadly power of shop-bought Rat poison awakens myriad  associations both contemporary and classical. Heaney’s young attention was particularly taken by the mystical change in the substance’s colouring, from dull, reddy-brown blood pudding to light-catching phosphorescent; its thick […]