In this collection, as ever with Heaney, personal memory and humble domestic objects -- a whitewash brush, a sofa, a swing -- are endowed with talismanic significance, and throughout the collection he addresses his growing concerns, which inevitably include the political situation in his native Northern Ireland, in a poetry that never ceases to be ...
In this collection, as ever with Heaney, personal memory and humble domestic objects -- a whitewash brush, a sofa, a swing -- are endowed with talismanic significance, and throughout the collection he addresses his growing concerns, which inevitably include the political situation in his native Northern Ireland, in a poetry that never ceases to be fluid, alert, and completely truthful.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-04-29 As the title suggests, this new collection from the 1995 winner of the Nobel Prize is a study in balance. Heaney reveals how simple things, such as a thimble or a swing, can hold the weight of history-and how history can alter the emotional weight of an object. "Two Lorries" takes the romantic innocence of a coalman's truck, circa 1940, with its driver who stops to flirt with the poet's mother, and measures it against a present-day "heavier, deadlier one, set to explode." Meanwhile, the poems revel in wordplay. A favorite tactic is the repetition of words within a lines or stanzas, which can yield such simplicity as in "Bisected sunlight in the sunlit yard," or be as savvy as a politico's speech: "Like the disregarded ones we turned against/ Because we'd failed them by our disregard." Heaney, at the peak of his career, is the fulcrum of two Irelands: one that is lyrical and lush with tradition and love; another that is ticking and could "catch the heart off guard and blow it open." (June)
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