Heaney’s 3-poem sequence approaches the title from different angles: a man steeped in country practices announces his intention to go; the effigy he intends to leave behind will transmit the messages of home to him; creatures natural to the Irish landscape-home are under threat from lurking, man-made dangers. A disastrous future for Ulster is on the cards. Land is all-encompassing: the ground beneath the poet’s feet; the extent of the family farm; his Ulster homeland; Irish territory. I The voice is that of a countryman by instinct (first person and barely anonymous) setting out his routines: measuring his personal domain in age-old units (I stepped it, perch by perch); separating and selecting natural growth that will serve many purposes (Unbraiding […]