Mycenae Lookout

Heaney’s mini-epic in 5 parts showcases his scholarship as a classicist and translator (what he modestly describes as ‘a certain amount of book work’) and his creative talent. Following the end of the Trojan War Heaney’s watchman follows the return to Mycenae of Agamemnon and his murder at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. The fineness of the writing, the density and sustained intensity of the narrative, the richness of its symbolic plane and allegorical possibility, its shifts in structure, tone and style place the sequence at the very highest level of late twentieth century poetry. Background to its composition: in conversation with DOD (pp349-50) Heaney revealed the event that triggered the sequence; in doing so […]