Field Work

The sequence navigates a route from imperfection to Heaney’s representation of perfection. The ultimate paragon will be his wife Marie. I Heaney was a vigilant close reader of what met his eye: willow leaves that bore differing tints above and beneath (sally tree went pale in every breeze), creatures ever on the qui-vive for danger (perfect eye of the nesting blackbird) the tiny idiosyncrasies of nature (one fern … always green). Close observation, too, of Marie (standing watching you ) on the occasion she picked up cleaning materials (pad from the gatehouse) on the other side of the railway track (crossing) and strained upwards (reach to lift) to remove an imperfection in nature (white wash off the whins). The circular […]