Afterthoughts

Heaney the extraordinary man in ordinary clothes Heaney the cordon-bleu cook Heaney the agent of change Heaney the orchestrator Heaney the word painter Heaney the meticulous craftsman including phonetic information Summary versions of the contents Stylistic devices an extraordinary man in ordinary clothes Poets are a breed apart!  Unlike ordinary mortals, such as you and I, their consciousness is constantly tuned […]

The Crossing

  (Inferno, Canto 111, lines 82-129) Seamus Heaney tops and tails Seeing Things with his own versions of passages from classical masterpieces, starting with ‘The Golden Bough’ borrowed from the pre-Christian classical mythology of Virgil and ending with a Dante passage from the Christian era. In both cases the narrative is not Heaney’s as such but he employs all his […]

Squarings xlviii

    (DODp.325) Heaney reported on a period of feverish activity as the Seeing Things collection was taking shape: I was pouncing for twelve lines on all kinds of occasions, chance sentences from my reading, chance sightings of dictionary entries, such as ( ) ‘offing’.  The final Squaring should be read as a complement to the previous piece in which […]

Squarings xlvii

  Heaney offers his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the Squarings sequence: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320); Heaney reported on a period of feverish activity as the […]

Squarings xlvi

  Heaney offers his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the Squarings sequence: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320); The poet recalls what he might term the perfect moment. […]

Squarings xlv

  Heaney offered his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the poems: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320); The poet discerns a chasm separating a ‘them’ and an ‘us’, […]

Squarings xliv

  Heaney revealed to DOD (p.325) ‘Shortly after I came home. I was pouncing for twelve lines on all kinds of occasions, chance sentences from my reading, chance sightings of dictionary entries ( ) chance visits to places that unlocked the word hoard’. Heaney also offered his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the poems: You could think […]

Squarings xliii

  In conversation with DOD (p.325) Heaney revealed the period of intense creative activity that accompanied the genesis of Seeing Things:  I was pouncing on twelve liners on all kinds of occasions … chance sentences from my reading. They just turned up and he went with it. This poem pits the skills of the experienced tracker against a creature’s survival […]

Squarings xlii

  Heaney offers his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the poems: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320); Heaney blends events, emotions and thoughts that have graced his existential […]

Squarings xli

  (DOD 325) Shortly after I came home. I was pouncing for twelve lines on all kinds of occasions, chance sentences from my reading, chance sightings of dictionary entries ( ) chance visits to places that unlocked the word hoard. Heaney also offers his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the Squarings sequence: You could think of every […]

Squarings xl

  Heaney offers his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the Squarings sequence: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320); To DOD (p.325) Heaney revealed the period of intense creative […]

Squarings xxxix

  Heaney offers his reader a clue as to how to ‘enter’ the Squarings poems: You could think of every poem in ‘Squarings’ as the peg at the end of a tent-rope reaching up into the airy structure, but still with purchase on something earth­ier and more obscure (DOD 320). Visiting a site on Ulster’s north Antrim coast, iconic both […]

Squarings xxxviii

  In light-hearted, self-deprecating mood Heaney recounts a  moment spent amidst the fullness of classical Roman culture in the company of intimate friends. In the history-steeped setting (we knew it) of the Capitol by moonlight Heaney and his friends derive immense pleasure (transports) from what enticed them to take the climb (temptation on the height). They appreciate being there (privileged) albeit late […]

Squarings xxxvii

  Heaney revealed his sudden ‘feeding-frenzy’ to DOD (p,325) : Shortly after I came home (from a trip to Rome in 1989), I was pouncing for twelve lines on all kinds of occasions, chance sentences from my reading, chance sightings of dictionary entries, chance visits to places that unlocked the word hoard. I wanted, if possible, something nonchalant yet definite. […]

Crossings xxxvi

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing it again enhanced. Such crossings  require a range of boundaries: doors, windows, […]

Crossings xxxv

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things through new eyes, between existence and annihilation. Such boundaries require a range of crossing points: […]

Crossings xxxiv

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things through new eyes. Such boundaries require a range of crossings: doors, windows, gates, casements, ‘A […]

Crossings xxxiii

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things again. Such crossings require a range of access points: doors, windows, […]

Crossings xxxii

  From cover to cover Seeing Things presents a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things through new eyes. Such crossings involve a range of access points: […]

Crossings xxxi

  From cover to cover Seeing Things presents a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things through new eyes. Such crossings involve a range of access points: […]

Crossings xxx

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things through new eyes. Such crossings involve a range of access points: […]

Crossings xxix

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical worlds; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things anew. Movement from one side to the other requires a […]

Crossings xxviii

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between a first order experience that seemed ordinary long ago now recognized as a ‘marvel’ worth crediting. Schoolchildren […]

Crossings xxvii

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical worlds; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; of first order experience seen through new eyes. The poem is triggered by recollection of Heaney’s late […]

Crossings xxvi

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical worlds; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things anew; between political affiliations. Movement from one side to the […]

Crossings xxv

  From cover to cover Seeing Things features a series of interfaces: journeys in and out of real world situations; between real and mythical; between secular and spiritual; between existence and annihilation; between objective and subjective; from the present into the future; between first order experience and seeing things anew. Movement from one side to the other requires a range […]

Settings xxiv

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, moments and emotions of previous experience, […]

Settings xxiii

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal happenings and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, moments and emotions of previous experience, […]

Settings xxii

  By and large the ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, subjects and emotions […]

Settings xxi

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, moments and emotions of previous experience, […]

Settings xx

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, moments and emotions of previous experience, […]

Settings xix

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, moments, models and emotions of primary […]

Settings xviii

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, caricatures and emotions of primary experience, […]

Settings xvii

  The ‘Settings’ sequence presents a chain of backdrops against which personal events and dramas were played out. Within the dynamic period preceding Seeing Things when Heaney deliberately swooped on anything that stimulated memory or association (DOD 320),  he allowed himself to be transported back by the poems that ‘came on’ to the sites, subjects and emotions of primary experience, […]