The Sweeney Redevivus poems are fascinating in terms of voicing. In his notes Heaney indicates that they are ‘voiced for Sweeney’ but this does not and cannot exclude the poet’s participation. Each poem resembles a piece of music with a background accompaniment and two voices that pick up the melody in turn or together; the mood of each piece varies as does its ensemble effect on the listener’s ear and the reader’s sensibility. A further stage in the process of untangling the twine-ball of old existence; the search for self-definition continues. The speaker’s conditional If ponders a complete clearing of the decks (the everything of l.8). The total unwinding of the twine to the very end will reveal from beneath […]