Station Island – the Sequence VI

The pilgrim achieves sexual freedom. The happening is presented as a real event and not just the fantasy of a young Catholic adolescent male indulging in a brazen carnal act on a hallowed site. The poem’s third sonnet sets out the sexually frustrated adolescence that preceded it. Twenty-five years before Heaney encountered a girl without a name, a child of earth, her features and nature still etched in his sense- memory: the sunlit pigmentation on her skin (Freckle-face); her instinct-driven head of auburn colouring (fox-head); the texture and feel of her akin to pod of the broom; a fairy-like tree-spirit (catkin pixie); the gentle sound of her thighs as she walked: little fern swish. She turned up as if in […]