Remembered Columns

  Sensing that words, meanings and the world outside have come under threat Heaney simulates a cinematographic animation technique in which things come apart and are reconstructed. What he felt secure with is suddenly fragile: The solid letters of the world grew airy. The sturdy constructions of written letter and word that a seasoned poet has elevated (The marble serifs, the clearly blocked uprights / Built upon rocks and set upon the heights) are suddenly flimsy. The constituent parts rise like remembered columns in a story that (despite Heaney’s lapse of faith,) offers him a ray of hope: the legendary miracle of the Virgin’s house that rose and flew / And landed on the hilltop at Loreto. Reassured that things […]