3 Orange Drums

Heaney paints a caricature in words of a figure prominent in a Protestant Unionist parade. The poet’s distaste for the tone and tenor of the event and for what its emblematic drummer stands for is immediately obvious. The lambeg drummer at the resembles an overpowering fusion, his size and mass doubled by the bulk and weight of his drum and evident in the lexis of obesity (balloons…belly … weighs … buckles). The sound he produces is part of the whole (lodging thunder), a bullying unsavoury emanation (grossly) from his groin area. He cuts a paradoxical figure – what boosts his psychology (raised up) is more than his physical frame can cope with (buckles under). As if each arm has a […]