Bog Oak

‘What the Californian distance did was to lead me back into the Irish memory bank’ (DOD142). Ulster dialect and pronunciation are woven into the first piece (‘Fodder’) as a shared inheritance of Irish people whatever their religious denomination. The image of a recycled Bog Oak, preserved by the peat bogs that surrounded Heaney’s childhood home, is presented as further ‘common ground’; the poet adds Irish identity, climate and history to the mix. The peat bogs, ‘sacred places’ (MP94) for Heaney, stored and preserved what was deposited in them also acting, layer by layer, as a historical archive. Heaney acknowledges the aged Bog Oak as a usable wood retrieved from the peat and source of recycling income. Sight of it transports […]