In a poem that foretells (Oracle) of a poet-in-the-making Heaney relives a childhood moment that demonstrates his strong spirit of independence, his sensitivity to the world around and his busy imagination. Once upon a real time, child Heaney’s eagerness to wriggle free of parental control, run ahead and play hide-and-seek in the hollow trunk/ of the willow tree provided a passport to a secret spirit world in which he could commune with Nature (its listening familiar). This moment of first communion was immediately disrupted by intrusive, repetitive calls: as usual, they/ cuckoo your name/ across the fields. He recognized the sounds of family closing in, navigating the barriers separating them from him: You can hear them/ draw the poles of […]