Sweeney Redevivus

The Sweeney Redevivus poems are fascinating in terms of voicing. In his notes Heaney indicates that they are ‘voiced for Sweeney’ but this does not and cannot exclude the poet’s participation. Each poem resembles a piece of music with a background accompaniment and two voices that pick up the melody in turn or together; the mood of each piece varies as does its ensemble effect on the listener’s ear and the reader’s sensibility. Change is stirring. Enter Sweeney himself revived, homeless and/or the Heaney look-alike we met in Loaning III (I stirred wet sand and gathered myself)preparing for an imminent uphill struggle. A new position has to be established despite the mind-set of old that resembles a ball of wet […]