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'Seamus Heaney has gone beyond the themes of his earlier poetry and has made the giant step towards the most ambitious, most intractable themes of maturity. The power of this book comes from a sense that he is reaching out towards a type of desolation and of isolation without which no imagination can be seen to have grown up.' Eavan Boland, Irish Times'Keyed and pitched un ...more
Published January 1st 1972 by Faber & Faber
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Heaney's third collection, in line with the first two, absolutely full of beautifully crafted poems. Great pictures of the Irish rural life, full of rural vocabulary, these poems make the very ground come alive. "Land" and "Gifts of Rain" rank among my all time favorite poems.
A number of poems in this volume offer a reverent and altogether euphoric and hypnotic interaction with the natural landscape of Ireland. Other pieces are mournful, showing homage, while also expressing shame and fury at the atrocities of the past. Many poems are addressed to individuals. These verses capture each person’s connection to the land or to his/her trade and labor. With this volume, Heaney establishes himself as the bard of Ireland. He has a gifted eye for observing the landscape and ...more
Having heard much ado about Seamus Heaney I thought I would try some of his stuff. Unfortunately, I had trouble seeing any value in it whatsoever. He relies too heavily on a structure that lends nothing to his poems. He doesn't write with any of the melody or lyricism of the great poets, and he doesn't have the awe-inspiring passionate writing of say a Ginsberg. "Wintering Out" falls flat with me, and pretty much bored me to tears.