Heaney allegorizes the survival instinct of a herb that for all its lowly appearance graced the Heaney family’s Sunday lunch table. His underlying message, however, sets out the deeper danger represented by tenacious units who are in fact, or see themselves as, downtrodden. The plant becomes an emblem for the overlooked and a warning to the rest of society. ‘Anything Can Happen’ published ten years later in District and Circle (1996) spells out one awful potential aftermath when groups are not ‘regarded’. In contrast Nicholas Jenkins talks of ‘a benign, lyrical language that is one of this collection’s most appealing notes’ of the poem’s early lines (Walking on Air in the TLS of July 5th 1996) In its physical form […]