Part Two: Station Island – the Sequence

Part 2 traces a ‘pilgrim’s progress’; Heaney composes a sequence of 12 poems under a chosen topological heading. At least twenty five years separate his original experiences on Station Island and the moment at which he chooses the location to draw together the different strands. Much water has passed beneath Heaney’s emotional, ethical, aesthetic and spiritual bridges in the interim. The older poet and his younger self face a selection of ‘ghosts’ who express their opinions or respond to Heaney’s inner conflicts some of which have remained obstinately present despite the passage of time; the ghosts are friendly, sad, self-defining, exemplary, admonitory, rebuking (NC p115). the ghosts are predominantly shades the poet own dream-life who have actually existed in Ireland; […]

Station Island – the Sequence I

The first piece follows the aftermath of a young man’s decision to ‘go with the spiritual flow’ and undertake the pilgrimage. A dissenting voice pressures him in vain to abandon the pilgrimage and urges him to overcome the orthodoxy of his upbringing. The early-morning Sunday sounds that summon folk to worship are sudden and urgent: A hurry of bell notes, taking wing over morning hush. Landscape, climate and time of year are evident in the water-blistered cornfields. The fleeting sounds from the bell tower (an escaped ringing) hint at freedom but are quickly silenced. Nature is in a suspense of anticipation: silence breathed unsettled by the appearance of a countryman, pre-Christian in appearance , carrying a bow-saw, held/ stiffly up like […]