Electric Light

Electric Light, published by Faber in 2001, is Seamus Heaney’s tenth collection.  As the book approached publication stage the poet felt the need to point out …  ‘I am in my sixties ‘ he said ‘ and you have a sense of elegy coming on’. Little surprise, then, that the 38 poems that make up Electric Light include a host of elegiac pieces for family, friends, poets and academics who have been important to him.

That said, Heaney’s poetry sits very firmly on the side of life…  it is bathed with the light of love, empathy and compassion that echoes his Catechism gloss  –‘ my neighbour’ he says, ‘is all mankind’ … hence the collection’s glistering title.