Summer Home

The poet revealed to DOD that ‘Those little poems in ‘Summer Home’ come more from pressure of personal experience than from any literary influence’ (p147). Significantly, in 1969, the Heaneys had spent time in the Bas-Pyrénées region of France fulfilling a condition of the Somerset Maugham Award of the previous year. The cocktail of summer heat in a foreign clime, questionable accommodation, sheer fatigue and the company of two children under three years of age pushes an otherwise reasonable man over the top. Heaney dramatizes a traumatic domestic event for which he feels guilty responsibility: act 1 provides the catalyst that lights his fuse; act 2 depicts deep remorse and an act of penitence; act 3 confirms an as yet […]