The Other Side

As sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland were boiling up into major 1970s conflict Heaney takes a peek back at relationships prevailing in the Heaney neighbourhood of the 1940s. ‘The Other Side’ presents a guarded but benign encounter between your family and your Protestant neighbour Johnny Junkin (DOD131). Heaney’s neighbours as he explained to DOD were ‘both beside us and on the other side’, Protestants and Catholics living alongside each other, and in harmony. Wading through vegetation on the edge of Heaney property (Thigh-deep in sedge and marigolds) the young narrator is suddenly aware of a second looming presence at the ‘frontier’ separating them (a neighbour laid his shadow on the stream). Using a religious comparison the man writes off the […]