Settings xxiv

  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 and emotions of previous experience, from where he weighed up what ‘In time … was extra, unforeseen and free’ (Markings I). HV: ‘Squaring’ xxiv, Heaney’s hymn to natural sufficiency, records the ever-present potential of the senses for a fuller happiness (p147). The poet composes an anthem to ‘perfected form’. His elated consciousness is undisturbed either by man’s clamour or signs of nature’s turbulence (Deserted harbour […]