Station Island – the Sequence XI

A poem celebrating the retrieval and the re-energising of the self showcases Heaney’s huge talent for translation in his version of a mystical 16th century poem by San Juan de la Cruz. It suggests that everything can be explained without the necessity of God being present. The piece begins with the As if repeated three times in the final sonnet of canto IX. The poet dares imagine that his latent aspirations and talents, his prisms of the kaleidoscope once clouded by obstacles imposed on his formative years have emerged with astonishing potential: like a marvellous lightship. The ghostly face appears of a monk who once confessed Heaney frombehind a grille. The confessor’s lecture to a doubting, nay, lapsed soul is […]