The Strand at Lough Beg

By any measure The Strand at Lough Beg makes a substantial contribution to the collection with its very personal subject-matter, its contrast between intensity and calm, its alternation between violence and peaceableness, between brutality and final restorative gestures. As with all the poems of ‘Field Work’ is worth considering how each individual lyric, elegy and meditative piece contributes  to Heaney’s barely veiled relief at severing his ties with Northern Ireland and his eagerness to ratify the family move to the Irish Republic. DOD221 SH When I read the passage at the start of Dante’s Purgatorio 1 (from line 100) describing that little lake and rushy shore where Virgil and Dante find themselves once they emerge from the murk of hell, […]