The Sandpit

Heaney’s title refers to the piles of sand in which youngsters were delighted to play. His four-poem sequence expands the idea to reveal the impact made on the impressionable young Heaney by the post WWII construction period. The speaker, now an adult, provides retrospective insights and judgements; the child he was is omnipresent. The poem offers a further dimension: both poet and bricklayer are constructing things that will survive them. 1. 1946 A 7 year old recalls the symbolic first spadeful of earth of post-war building development on rural farmland: The first hole neat as a trapdoor/ cut into grazing. Each hole is a double spade action (cut again)followed by the physical exertion of heft and lift. The metal blade […]