Twice Shy

A relationship is born. The so-christened ‘Devlin poem’ is first of a series of lyrics that celebrate their ties, recognising Marie’s place in Heaney’s development as a poet. His title invites us to complete the idiom ‘once bitten … twice shy’: those who have been hurt are doubly careful the next time round (especially in matters of love). Heaney describes a walk (perhaps their very first) with the woman who was to become his wife and to whom he had been married for nearly fifty years when he died in 2013. They met during their University days. The speaker is walking along the riverside with a woman he finds both sensationally attractive (Her scarf á la Bardot) yet sensible and […]