Cover: Seamus Heaney, from Harvard University PressCover: Seamus Heaney in PAPERBACK

Seamus Heaney

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$14.50 • £11.95 • €13.00

ISBN 9780674002050

Publication Date: 03/01/2000

Academic Trade

208 pages

Not for sale in UK, British Commonwealth & Europe (except Canada)

Poet and critic are well met, as one of our best writers on poetry takes up one of the world’s great poets.

Where other books on the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney have dwelt chiefly on the biographical, geographical, and political aspects of his writing, this book looks squarely and deeply at Heaney’s poetry as art. A reading of the poet’s development over the past thirty years, Seamus Heaney tells a story of poetic inventiveness, of ongoing experimentation in form and expression. It is an inspired and nuanced portrait of an Irish poet of public as well as private life, whose work has given voice to his troubled times.

With characteristic discernment and eloquence, Helen Vendler traces Heaney’s invention as it evolves from his beginnings in Death of a Naturalist (1966) through his most recent volume, The Spirit Level (1996). In sections entitled “Second Thoughts,” she considers an often neglected but crucial part of Heaney’s evolving talent: self-revision. Here we see how later poems return to the themes or genres of the earlier volumes, and reconceive them in light of the poet’s later attitudes or techniques. Vendler surveys all of Heaney’s efforts in the classical forms—genre scene, elegy, sonnet, parable, confessional poem, poem of perception—and brings to light his aesthetic and moral attitudes.

Seamus Heaney’s development as a poet is inextricably connected to the violent struggle that has racked Northern Ireland. Vendler shows how, from one volume to the next, Heaney has maintained vigilant attention toward finding a language for his time—“symbols adequate for our predicament,” as he has said. The worldwide response to those discovered symbols suggests that their relevance extends far beyond this moment.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Cover: A Shoppers’ Paradise: How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown, by Emily Remus, from Harvard University Press

Going Downtown

As a child in Chicago, Emily Remus was enchanted by the sights and sounds of its downtown. Here she tells how those early experiences influenced her in writing A Shoppers’ Paradise, a book about how women in turn-of-the-century Chicago used their consumer power to challenge male domination of public spaces and stake their own claim to downtown

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.