Midnight is to do with being robbed. Loss of language, prosperity and nationhood are dealt with in the collection; to them Heaney adds the contrived extinction of the wolf, once prevalent in Ireland. The spoliation visited on Ireland over the centuries has brought Heaney to a Midnight of gloom: things Irish lost or compromised by a string of occupying armies flooding Irish shores (Since the professional wars) with all the brutality of conquest (Corpse and carrion Paling in rain). The poet laments the disappearance of a predator that roamed free until the British got involved: The wolf has died out/ In Ireland hunted to extinction after the Cromwellian Plantations of the 1650s. Once upon a time packs/ Scoured parkland and […]