1 The Ministry of Fear

dedicated to Seamus Deane. Heaney identifies two systems that brought their repressive regimes to bear on him as an individual with a mind of his own. Such was the trepidation that their rules of conduct generated that in the poem he reprises the notion of incarceration in The Unknown Legislator’s Dream. Though the piece is bedded in Heaney’s real-life experiences in Ireland the title alludes to the bureaucracies of oppressive states in post WWII Eastern Europe. Sandwiched between them is a short account of Heaney’s red-blooded male frustrations! The initial interjection (well) announces that Heaney is poised to speak – of events from his personal biography – his important places borrowed from Patrick Kavanagh’s Epic of 1938. His first ‘monument’ […]