If you didn’t subscribe to the English Review magazine, here are some points from it that I thought were important:
- ‘The young, self-conscious writer looks back to his father and grandfather, and writes himself out of the family tradition by choosing the pen and not the spade for his own working life.’
- ‘the marriage poems of Field Work’
- ‘Heaney’s poetry is not just personal: he was an allusive writer, and also a translator, deeply engaged in the literary past.’
- ‘Heaney was a responsible and responsive writer, consistently preoccupied by eventds in his own time and place – Northern Ireland in the latter decade of the twentieth century – and concerned to commit shared experiences, and shares losses, to his poetry in adequate, careful, lasting ways.’
- ‘Heaney seeks to shape the experiences he remembers in new words and forms.’
- ‘For Heaney, in fact, memory was an eternal home.’
*From ‘Seamus Heaney and memory’ by Rosie Lavan – English Review, February 2016, Volume 26: Number 3.