Part Two: Station Island – the Sequence

Part 2 traces a ‘pilgrim’s progress’; Heaney composes a sequence of 12 poems under a chosen topological heading. At least twenty five years separate his original experiences on Station Island and the moment at which he chooses the location to draw together the different strands. Much water has passed beneath Heaney’s emotional, ethical, aesthetic and spiritual bridges in the interim. The older poet and his younger self face a selection of ‘ghosts’ who express their opinions or respond to Heaney’s inner conflicts some of which have remained obstinately present despite the passage of time; the ghosts are friendly, sad, self-defining, exemplary, admonitory, rebuking (NC p115). the ghosts are predominantly shades the poet own dream-life who have actually existed in Ireland; […]