From the Republic of Conscience

An anonymous first person ā€˜Iā€™, let us call him Traveller, journeys wittingly to a place with a mysterious name. Traveller is an individual normally caught up in a maelstrom of activity, sensitive to Nature surrounding him and family-minded. I Heaney accepted that the poem was set in a remote island off the north-east coast of Scotland: I imagined the Republic of Conscience as a place of silence and solitude where a person would find it hard to avoid self-awareness and self-examination, which is what made me think of Orkney (DOD292); The airplane carrying Traveller has arrived at its scheduled destination ā€“ an allegorical somewhere bearing an unusual name (republic of conscience). Traveller is met with conducive silence (noiseless when the […]