Station Island – the Sequence VIII

If the aim of his Lough Derg pilgrimage was for Heaney to chastise his soul then he is not about to spare himself. The mood has changed: the soothing clear water of VII is replaced by the growing turbulence of some Wagnerian overture. The whole scene is chiaroscuro – gathering storm – black water … granite airy space above, white waves … furrows snowcapped at lake level in a strengthening wind. A black and white omen of both good and evil (magpie) struggles (staggers) to cope with the conditions, preparing the way for two black-and-white revenant figures, both dead, who will present themselves to the pilgrim. Lost in thought (staring) in the centre of the kneeling ‘station’ (hard mouth of […]