An Artist

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 participation. 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. Heaney selects Paul Cézanne as his subject transporting us to the landscape in which the artist dwelt and worked. Just such a site exists in France’s Provence area: the Sainte-Victoire mountain, a bare, glistening monolith, dominates the countryside in which Cézanne executed many of his canvases. The […]