Grotus and Coventina

Heaney composes a love poem to Marie years after they visited Hadrian’s Wall in England’s Northumberland. His particular interest in the architectural remnants and artefacts of Roman presence uncovered a two-thousand year old story bristling with poetic and emotional charge. Water is very much the unifying factor. Personal exile added to the intensity of the poem: Heaney fulfilled a series of part-year contracts at Harvard University in the United States that took him away from wife, home and family for prolonged periods. Heaney weaves the tale of a legionary soldier living at the northern limit of the vast Roman Empire (far from home) whose pain of exile and loneliness drove him to construct a sanctuary dedicated to a Romano-Celtic water […]