A Sofa in the Forties

A sequence of four poems set in the living area of the Heaney family’s farm at Mossbawn. Heaney reflected on this early period of his life in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech: In the nineteen forties, when I was the eldest child of an ever-growing family in rural Co. Derry, we crowded together in the three rooms of a traditional thatched farmstead and lived a kind of den-life. The time of innocence or ignorance will ultimately be replaced by full historical and political awareness.   Active play is unfolding: the children are all positioned (on the sofa In a line) protecting limbs from the imagined ‘outside’ (kneeling behind each other). There is both hierarchy (eldest down to youngest) and an […]