A Call

The first of two rueful poems in which Heaney recalls incidents from the time when his parents were still alive. In A Call he is in telephone contact with them. Heaney had left the family home (after seven years of boarding-school experience) to go to university, after which he worked, married, travelled and brought up children in locations distant from his roots, initially in Belfast then after 1953 in the Irish Republic.  Heaney’s mother has answered the phone and responded to his request to speak to his father (‘Hold on’ … ‘I’II just run out and get him). The elderly man still takes every opportunity (took the chance) to engage in the habits of a farming lifetime – fresh air […]