The three-part sequence depicts people, circumstances and associations linked to the title-fruit. Background: for Heaney as a boy of five or six years old the bricklayer he knew best was king of local post-WWII building sites and child’s-eye giant of the world.  Mick Joyce portrayed anonymously in Damson was Heaney’s uncle who married one of his father’s sisters. He first appeared in The Demobbed Bricklayer of Sandpit (from Station Island, 1984), his friendly cheerful personality celebrated by ‘merriment in the spirit level’s eye’ and the ‘song of his trowel’. His final appearance comes in ‘District and Circle’ of 2006, an elegiac sequence of 5 sonnets To Mick Joyce in Heaven. Heaney commented that the sheer weight of his tools required […]