The Swing

A sequence evoking a mid-Ulster time, a place and a child-centred activity.  In the 1940s a large open barn in the Heaney farmyard at Mossbawn in Northern Ireland featured a swing that distracted Heaney and his siblings (the ‘herd life’ Heaney talks about in ‘Sofa in the Forties’ and his Nobel acceptance speech) and brought a mother’s presence to bear. The sequence moves back and forth between the extraordinary and the commonplace, the heavenly and the earthbound, idealized artistic representations and sheer down-to-earthness. * Learning to swing well is a metaphor for all manner of things not a means to successful independence. An early introductions to the laws of Physics: swinging was about maintaining impetus – the poet points out […]