The Sweeney Redevivus poems are fascinating in terms of voicing. In his notes Heaney indicates that they are ‘voiced for Sweeney’ but this does not and cannot exclude the poet’s contribution. Each poem resembles a piece of music with a background accompaniment and two voices that pick up the melody in turn or together; the mood of each piece varies as does its ensemble effect on the listener’s ear and the reader’s sensibility. The speaker outlines a moment of enlightenment and the animal that awakened him to an alternative world to the one he has been brought up in. From childhood the lucky speaker (his family life was a happy experience) has been subject to a rigid routine (challenged and […]