The Blackbird of Glanmore

The collection’s final poem, ’The Blackbird of Glanmore, offers an intensely moving epilogue:  an ageing poet revisits the beloved site where much of his work was composed; he interacts with a kindred spirit – a creature and its endearing characteristics; he sees the shadow of a younger brother killed in a road accident outside the family home in 1953 and reflects on rites of passage: arrivals … departures … superstition … premonition … making the best of what is left. Heaney has driven to Glanmore and is met by his beloved blackbird filling the stillness of the empty property with life. He recognises the nature of this ever-active but nervous creature preconditioned to scare off at the first wrong move. […]