Following the first walk described in Twice Shy the relationship between Heaney and Marie Devlin has moved on; they are living together. Heaney chooses a title of classical derivation (saying ‘farewell’, ‘adieu’) betraying his fears that her temporary absence might be more than just au revoir and signal final separation. The need Marie has kindled within him has a touch of medieval ‘courtly love’ about it, that of the knight in thrall to his Lady. The poet composes a ‘lay’ (short lyrical song) akin to those a troubadour might sing. The poet retains the image of his departing Lady’s good taste and her appeal: frilled blouse/ And simple tartan skirt. Her absence has left a gap in both his heart […]