The Milk Factory

On the face of it boy-Heaney, roaming the Castledawson locality with his pals, becomes fascinated by the milky effluent draining into the Moyola from the Nestlé factory, as if a newly discovered feature of the landscape. Linking the milky concoction that discoloured the river waters and its mysterious source releases Heaney’s imagination. Both factory and youngsters who looked on become actors in a kind of sci-fi narrative. Playmates on a riverside walk are drawn to the lumpy, bubbly liquid (scuts of froth) eddying into the river Moyola (swirled), visual evidence of directed leakage from the Nestlé factory (drainage pipe). The cocktail brew (milky water) generates in the poet’s imagination a Crucifixion image of sullied goodness (the pierced side of milk […]