A Postcard from Iceland

As both medievalist and Irishman Heaney took an interest in the Nordic and Icelandic sagas as pointers to his Celtic legacy. He refers to the ‘unmagical invitations of Iceland’ in the title poem of ‘North’ (1975) and will in his next collection picture himself sharing an outdoor hydrothermal bath in the presence of Snorri Sturluson (1179 –1241), Icelandic historian, poet, and politician (Seeing Things, Settings xxiii , 1991). DOD dates Heaney’s only recorded visit to Iceland with piper Liam O’Flynn to 2001.  In a poem of ‘postcard’ length space demands that each word counts. The poet-linguist in Heaney uses the ploy to unite his deep consciousness of being alive with words that echo a distant language link and secure a […]