‘What the Californian distance did was to lead me back into the Irish memory bank’ (DOD142). The first poem of Wintering Out introduces a series of pieces in the collection that identify closely with beloved locations by featuring the sounds of and associations with Irish/ Ulster diction and pronunciation. Heaney refers to them as ‘languagey poems’ (DOD126). Recalled at a restless moment and from a huge distance, Mossbawn is a sacrosanct place of Heaney’s childhood, a blessed legacy ‘ forever part of his inner landscape’ (HV 21). The poet spotlights an age-old, traditional feed for livestock as it winters out: Fodder (required when, seasonally, grass has ceased to grow and provide renewable natural pasture); he identifies with the phonetic version […]