At Banagher

Heaney puts on display a striking embodiment of his own vocation: from his travels around his Ulster neighbourhood he recalls an itinerant tradesman emblematic of old Ireland; he has perceived similarities between himself and the wandering tailor. The tailor has a way with clothes; the poet has a way with words. They both spend their time unpicking something to put it back together. Without warning a memory flashes across the poet’s consciousness (Then all of a sudden there appears to me): a remnant of old Ireland, a sharer of Heaney’s ancestry who, as it turns out, mirrors in figurative form many of the traits of a poet: The journeyman tailor who was my antecedent. There is something leprechaunish as the […]