The Badgers

Heaney spoke to James Randall: There is a poem called “The Badgers” which I’m very fond of—a kind of bridging of the inner and outer life. It’s literally badgers, but they began in my mind to stand for the night-self, the night part in everybody, the scuttling secret parts of life. Just as in a sense the Provisionals are the nightlife of the Catholic community (Issue 18 of Ploughshares, Emerson College). As regards the poems of ‘Field Work’ preceding the Glanmore Sonnets it is worth considering how each individual lyric, elegy and meditative piece contributes to Heaney’s barely veiled relief at having severed his ties with Belfast. In this introspective piece Heaney addresses himself (you). A swirl of associations is […]