The Stone Grinder

He who composes the poem provides the key to understanding (‘ordained opacities’ line 9).  If we are to enter The Stone Grinder easily then sifting the clues Heaney provides is key. On the one hand legendary queen Penelope of Homeric legend with a mission to achieve (some guarantee of a plot) in challenging circumstances; by cunning construction and deconstruction of her shroud (she unweaved at night) she engineers a successful outcome for herself advance it all by a day), defeating unworthy male intrusion in the process; her story and her ‘plot’ are memorialised in Homer’s classic. Alongside queen Penelope an unpretentious figure of old Irish pedigree – a tetchy stone grinder who has laboured at the same job throughout his […]