Shore Woman

Heaney revealed to DOD(p124) that ‘the fishing scenario in ‘Shore Woman’ is in fact an amalgam of two Kerry occasions – one when we went out on Kenmare Bay with Sean O’Riada and actually caught a heap of mackerel; another, reported to us by a man in Dingle, who told how his wife panicked when their boat was surrounded by porpoises’. The poem, one of a series depicting women in distress, and its epigraph linking men with the land and women with the sea identify Shore Woman as the narrator. The piece paints all the themes, variations, dynamics and drama of a sea symphony in words. The first movement, calm, lyrical andante cantabile, introduces a storyteller sensitive to the sound […]