Seamus Heaney Essay Poetry

He had visited schools and given readings in almost every corner of the country, often for nothing; thousands of people had seen him on television, or had read of the Nobel Prize.In his poem “Mid-Term Break” (recalling, years later, the death of his four-year-old brother, hit by a car), he is an adolescent sitting at the wake next to his mother, who “coughed out angry tearless sighs.” The phrase gives me, by its convincing oddity, the absolute joy that art provides.“Cough”: an uncontrollable spasm of the throat; “anger”: an outward-going fierce resentment; “tearless”: a violent suppression of the body’s natural response; “sigh”: a declining volume of breath, yes, but when coupled with “angry” a self-propelling protesting ungovernable exhalation, rising upward again as soon as it dies away.Brought up a Catholic, he was no longer a believer as an adult, but he also remarked that one cannot forget the culture in which one was raised.He attended no church, but by his own wish was buried at a Catholic Mass: there is no other way to bury someone from the Catholic tradition in Ireland.His student friends asked me if perhaps Seamus could send some words to be read at the memorial service.I left the message for Seamus in Dublin, and in a few hours found a return message with a tender paragraph about the student.Therefore, Incertus does not denote uncertainty (in the usual sense) but expresses the polarity in language and in the world.This paper will focus especially on Heaney's interpretation of the relationship between the masculine and feminine in language and poetry as it relates to his poetic and political stance.I will use Heaney's terms as he does and if sexist overtones linger, I expect they will be by the end of the paper.In any case, his philosophy subscribes to an equal, but distinctive, differentiation in a dynamic dialogue.


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