The Cambridge Companion To Seamus Heaney-Books Download

the cambridge companion to seamus heaney

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the cambridge companion to seamus heaney Seamus Heaney is a unique phenomenon in contemporary literature, as a poet whose works (such as his Beowulf translation, and volumes of poems such as Electric Light and District and Circle) have been high in the best-seller lists for decades. Especially since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, he ...



Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
THE CAMBRIDGE
COMPANION TO
SEAMUS HEANEY
BERNARD O DONOGHUE
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
cambridge university press
Cambridge New York Melbourne Madrid Cape Town Singapore S o Paulo Delhi
Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building Cambridge cb2 8ru UK
Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press New York
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Information on this title www cambridge org 9780521547550
Cambridge University Press 2009
This publication is in copyright Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press
First published 2009
Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press Cambridge
A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data
The Cambridge companion to Seamus Heaney edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Includes bibliographical references and index
isbn 978 0 521 83882 5
1 Heaney Seamus 1939 Criticism and interpretation
I O Donoghue Bernard II Title
pr6058 e2z5745 2008
8210 914 dc22
2008040775
isbn 978 0 521 83882 5 hardback
isbn 978 0 521 54755 0 paperback
Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third party internet websites referred to in this book
and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is or will remain accurate or appropriate
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
Notes on Contributors page vii
Acknowledgements x
Note on the Text and Abbreviations xi
Chronology xiii
1 Introduction
bernard o donoghue 1
2 Seamus Heaney s Working Titles From Advancements of Learning
to Midnight Anvil
rand brandes 19
3 The Context of Heaney s Reception
patrick crotty 37
4 Heaney in Public
dennis o driscoll 56
5 Heaney and the Feminine
fran brearton 73
6 Heaney and Eastern Europe
justin quinn 92
7 Heaney s Classics and the Bucolic
bernard o donoghue 106
8 Professing Poetry Heaney as Critic
david wheatley 122
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
9 Heaney and the Irish Poetic Tradition
andrew murphy 136
10 Irish Influence and Confluence in Heaney s Poetry
dillon johnston 150
11 Heaney and Yeats
neil corcoran 165
12 Heaney s Wordsworth and the Poetics of Displacement
guinn batten 178
13 Heaney Beowulf and the Medieval Literature of the North
heather o donoghue 192
14 Crediting Marvels Heaney after 50
john wilson foster 206
Guide to Further Reading 224
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
CONTRIBUTORS
g u i n n b a t t e n is an associate professor of English at Washington University
in St Louis She is the author of The Orphaned Imagination Melancholy and
Commodity Culture in English Romanticism and several published essays on contem
porary Irish poetry A former editor for the Wake Forest University Press s Irish poetry
series and the co author of Irish Poetry in English 1945 2000 for The Cambridge
History of Irish Literature she is writing a book on ethics and the crisis of autobio
graphy in English Romanticism as they are revised in contemporary Irish poetry
r a n d b r a n d e s was born in Batesville Indiana and educated at Hanover College
BA and Emory University MA and PhD He is the recipient of two Fulbright
Fellowships to work with Seamus Heaney in Dublin Along with Michael J Durkan
1925 96 he has published Seamus Heaney A Reference Guide 1996 and
Seamus Heaney A Bibliography 1959 2003 2008 He is the Martin Luther
Stevens Professor of English at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory North Carolina
f r a n b r e a r t o n is Reader in English at Queen s University Belfast and assistant
director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry She is author of The Great War in
Irish Poetry 2000 and Reading Michael Longley 2006 and is currently working
on a study of Robert Graves and twentieth century poetry
n e i l c o r c o r a n is King Alfred Professor of English Literature at the University
of Liverpool He previously taught at the universities of Sheffield Swansea and
St Andrews A revised enlarged edition of his book on Seamus Heaney was
published as The Poetry of Seamus Heaney A Critical Study 1998 and recent
publications include Elizabeth Bowen The Enforced Return 2004 and The
Cambridge Companion to Twentieth Century English Poetry 2007
p a t r i c k c r o t t y was born in Fermoy Co Cork in 1952 and educated at
University College Cork and the University of Stirling He is the editor of Modern
Irish Poetry An Anthology 1995 and of the forthcoming New Penguin Book of
Irish Verse He is Professor of Irish and Scottish Literature at the University of
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
notes on contributors
j o h n w i l s o n f o s t e r was born in Belfast and educated at the Queen s University
and the University of Oregon Among his books are Fictions of the Irish Literary
Revival 1987 Colonial Consequences 1991 The Achievement of Seamus
Heaney 1995 and Irish Novels 1890 1940 2008 He is Professor Emeritus
University of British Columbia and in 2004 5 was a Leverhulme Visiting
Professor to the United Kingdom
d i l l o n j o h n s t o n has published two editions of Irish Poetry after Joyce 1985
and 1977 and The Poetic Economies of England and Ireland 2001 as well as
many essays mostly about Irish and British poetry He was founder and director of
Wake Forest University Press He currently lectures in the graduate program at
Washington University in St Louis
a n d r e w m u r p h y is Professor of English at the University of St Andrews He
contributed the Seamus Heaney volume 1996 to the British Council s Writers
and their Work series His other books include But the Irish Sea Betwixt Us
Ireland Colonialism and Renaissance Literature 1999 and Shakespeare for the
People Working Class Readers 1800 1900 2000
b e r n a r d o d o n o g h u e is a Fellow in Medieval English at Wadham College
Oxford His study Seamus Heaney and the Language of Poetry was published in
1994 He has published five volumes of poems and his Selected Poems was
published in 2008
h e a t h e r o d o n o g h u e was born in Stockton upon Tees Co Durham and grew
up in Middlesbrough She was educated at Westfield College University of London
and Somerville College Oxford She is currently Vigfusson Rausing Reader in Old
Icelandic at the University of Oxford and Vice Principal of Linacre College She is
the author of The Genesis of a Saga Narrative 1991 Skaldic Verse and the Poetics
of Saga Narrative An Introduction to Old Norse Icelandic Literature 2004 and
most recently From Asgard to Valhalla 2007 a study of the reception history of
Old Norse myth Her present project is a book about the influence of Old Norse
myth on poetry in English
d e n n i s o d r i s c o l l has worked as a civil servant since the age of sixteen His
eight books of poetry include New and Selected Poems 2004 a Poetry Book
Society Special Commendation and Reality Check 2007 8 A selection of his
essays and reviews Troubled Thoughts Majestic Dreams was published in 2001
He is the editor of The Bloodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations 2006 and its
American counterpart Quote Poet Unquote 2008
j u s t i n q u i n n was born in Dublin in 1968 and educated at Trinity College He is
the author of four collections of poetry most recently Waves Trees 2006 and he
has written two studies of twentieth century American poetry His books include
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
notes on contributors
the Cambridge Introduction to Modern Poetry 1800 2000 2008 translations of
the contemporary Czech poet Petr Borkovec From the Interior 2008 and as
editor Irish Poetry after Feminism 2008 He is Associate Professor of English and
American Literature at the Charles University Prague
d a v i d w h e a t l e y was born in Dublin and lectures at the University of Hull He has
published three collections of poetry and edited the poetry journal Metre with
Justin Quinn His Contemporary British Poetry An Introduction is forthcoming
from Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
My primary thanks are to Seamus Heaney for providing the incomparable
subject matter and for his hallmark generosity and goodwill towards the
project I am deeply grateful to all the contributors who have borne delay
with patience I have drawn on Dennis O Driscoll s noted infallibility more
than once Ray Ryan Maartje Scheltens and Christopher Hills of Cambridge
University Press were also very generous with their expertise Lindeth Vasey
was an extraordinarily efficient and reassuring reader and copy editor
Wadham College and the Oxford English Faculty kindly allowed me a period
of leave to work on the project and I was given a generous grant by the
English Faculty for research support I am greatly in the debt of Drs Tara
Stubbs and Heather O Donoghue for addressing my word processing incom
petence Without them the book would have never reached its quietus
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
NOTE ON THE TEXT AND ABBREVIATIONS
Most of Heaney s works have been published both in Britain and Ireland and
in America When there is any divergence I have given the British Isles English
titles and dates of publication as the editions most readily available In the
Further Reading I have given the English or Irish place of publication first
because when there is any difference in publication dates those are always
Abbreviations
Titles of books frequently referred to especially individual volumes of poetry
and the four collected volumes of prose essays
CP Crediting Poetry
DC District and Circle
DD Door into the Dark
DN Death of a Naturalist
EL Electric Light
FK Finders Keepers
FW Field Work
GT The Government of the Tongue
HL The Haw Lantern
OG Opened Ground
OL An Open Letter
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
note on the text and abbreviations
P Preoccupations
RP The Redress of Poetry
SA Sweeney Astray
SI Station Island
SL The Spirit Level
ST Seeing Things
WO Wintering Out
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
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CHRONOLOGY
Italics denote political events
13 April 1939 Born on a farm Mossbawn in Tamniarn Co Derry
Northern Ireland to Patrick and Margaret Heaney Eldest
of nine children two girls and seven boys
1945 51 Attends the local Anahorish school a mixed primary
school with Catholic and Protestant pupils Played
Gaelic Football for St Malachy s Castledawson up to
minor level at age 18
1951 57 Attends as a boarder St Columb s College Derry City
1953 Family moves from Mossbawn farm to The Wood at the
other end of the parish following the death of his brother
Christopher an incident commemorated in both his early
poem Mid Term Break and the late poem The Blackbird
of Glanmore in District and Circle
1957 61 At Queen s University Belfast doing a degree in English
Graduates with First Class First poems published in
Queen s literary magazines
1961 2 Studies for a postgraduate teachers training diploma at
St Joseph s college of education Andersonstown Belfast
While at St Joseph s writes an extended essay on literary
magazines in the North of Ireland and is led to the collec
tions of the Linen Hall Library Belfast and the works of
the Ulster poet John Hewitt and the British poet Ted
1962 Begins teaching at St Thomas s Intermediate School
Ballymurphy The headmaster the short story writer
Michael McLaverty introduces Heaney to the poetry of
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Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
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chronology
Patrick Kavanagh Registers for a part time postgraduate
degree at Queen s
Begins writing in earnest In November 1962
Tractors is published in the Belfast Telegraph other
Irish journals including the Queen s University maga
zine Interest soon publish other poems
Spring 1963 Mid Term Break is published by Kilkenny Magazine
Autumn 1963 Leaves school teaching and returns to St Joseph s as a lecturer
in English Meets poet and lecturer Philip Hobsbaum at
Queen s and becomes part of the Belfast Group The
group would meet in Hobsbaum s flat until his move to
Glasgow in 1966 1966 1970 they would meet at Heaney s
flat Its members included at various points Michael Longley
Derek Mahon Stewart Parker and James Simmons and later
Paul Muldoon and Frank Ormsby
1965 Mary Holland publicises the Belfast Group in the
Observer in London as part of the Belfast Festival
August 1965 Marries Marie Devlin whom he had first met in October
November 1965 The Belfast Festival publishes Heaney s first slim
collection Eleven Poems
1966 Awarded a lectureship at Queen s following Hobsbaum s
departure Begins to write topical articles for the New
Statesman and the Listener and to make broadcasts for
BBC radio and television Becomes known for his cultural
and political communications
The Manchester publisher Phoenix Pamphlet Poets
publishes A Lough Neagh Sequence
May 1966 Faber publishes first full length poetry collection Death
of a Naturalist Receives the Gregory Award for Young
Writers and the Geoffrey Faber Prize setting the pattern
of prizewinning which was maintained by all his poetry
July 1966 Son Michael is born Writes about Belfast in the Out of
London column in the New Statesman focusing on poli
tical rather than cultural issues
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
More information
chronology
February 1968 Second son Christopher is born
5 October 1968 Civil rights march in Derry City first major violent clash
of the Troubles
24 October 1968 Writes a piece in the Listener Old Derry s Walls in
sympathy with the marchers and a satirical song
Craig s Dragoons for Radio Eireann
June 1969 Second volume Door into the Dark is published Wins
the Somerset Maugham Award
12 August 1969 Sectarian clashes in Derry would become known as the
Battle of the Bogside
14 August 1969 The British Army enters Derry
January 1970 The Provisional Irish Republican Army is officially
formed in Dublin
1970 1 Spends the academic year at the University of California
Berkeley Returns to Northern Ireland in September 1971
1971 The Provisional IRA s bombing campaign is stepped up
1972 Publication of Soundings
30 January 1972 Bloody Sunday in which thirteen civilians are killed by
the British Army in Derry Would write a lament for the
dead The Road to Derry and would commemorate the
event in Casualty published in Field Work
August 1972 Having resigned from Queen s the Heaneys rent from
Anne Saddlemyer a cottage in Glanmore Co Wicklow
where Heaney begins work as a freelance writer rejoicing
in the local association with J M Synge
November 1972 Publication of Wintering Out
1973 7 Hosts intermittently a radio show Imprint on Radio
April 1973 Daughter Catherine Ann is born
October 1973 Visits Denmark where he sees the bodies of the Bog
people at the museum at Silkeborg
Cambridge University Press www cambridge org
Cambridge University Press
978 0 521 83882 5 The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney
Edited by Bernard O Donoghue
Frontmatter
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chronology
1975 The Belfast Honest Ulsterman Press publishes prose
poetic sequence Stations completed in May and June
1974 as a pamphlet The publication reflects a vital
moment in his career when he acknowledges the impact
of sectarianism on his poetry
Ted Hughes s sister Olwyn publishes a limited edition of
the whole series of bog poems as Bog Poems from her
Rainbow Press
June 1975 Publication of North
October 1975 Joins the English department at Carysfort a teachers
training college in Dublin
November 1976 The Heaneys move to Sandymount Dublin
1976 81 Employed as Head of the English Department at
1979 Spends a semester teaching a poetry workshop at Harvard
University as one of several temporary successors to the
American poet Robert Lowell who had died in 1977
Publication of Field Work thought to have been influ
enced by the poetry of Lowell Heaney had given an
address at his memorial service in London Lowell had
praised North while an elegy to him is included in Field
1980 Joins the Board of the Field Day Company founded by his
close friend the playwright Brian Friel and the actor Stephen
Rea to produce Friel s Translations outside the commercial
theatre A director of Field Day along with the poets Tom
Paulin and Seamus Deane Publication of Selected Poems
1965 1975 and Preoccupations Selected Prose 1968
1978 in October
1980 1 Ten Republican prisoners die on hunger strike including
Heaney s neighbour Francis Hughes from Bellaghy
January 1982 Begins five year contract at Harvard teaching one semes
ter a year
1983 As a director of Field Day Heaney publishes in Ireland
Sweeney Astray started in 1973 a version of the long
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