Jun 012015
 

The Flight Path

Heaney’s title opens multiple lines of enquiry: the planned course of an aircraft acts as a metaphor for the journey linking his early life with academic positions that took him to and from the USA, with his exodus from Ulster to the Irish Republic in 1972, with an unpleasant confrontation involving a nationalist figure in 1979 and an equally disagreeable happening with the Unionist protestant forces of order during the Troubles. The title suggests movement in space, movement in time, guided movement, movement determined by outside forces. The metaphorical implications of ‘taking flight’ are also represented, not least the spiritual uplift expressed in the final line.

The six-poem sequence is dedicated to Donald Davie, fellow poet and critic who died in 1995.

1

Heaney unveils a ‘miracle’ from childhood: a boy watches his father perform magical trick using origami to transform a blank sheet of paper into a boat. He sets out the process: first fold first… more foldovers drawn/ Tighter and neater every time. The paper, reduced to an unpromising pleated square held up by two corners, undergoes a magical transformation. His father could have prolonged the suspense of a trick that might go wrong (like a promise he had the power to break) but in his case it always worked.

Heaney, his boyhood Biblical studies still resonating, recalls the intensity of spiritual uplift (A dove rose in my breast / Every time my father’s hands came clean/ With a paper boat between them) recalling Noah’s Old Testament boat (ark in air) with its clean-lined shape resembling a pegged tentHigh-sterned, splay-bottomed.

He is sorrowful that the little (paper) pyramid designed to float (hollow) will not endure: a part of me ( ) sank because it knew / The whole thing would go soggy once you launched it.

On his journey out of ignorance’ (see Sofa in The Forties) experience had already taught the youngster that appearances are deceptive.

  • pleated: formed of double or multiple folds;
  • dove: Heaney is describing metaphorically the deep emotion that welled up inside him; in Christian art and poetry the Holy Spirit was represented as a dove (John 1:32)
  • came clean: was completely honest; kept nothing hidden
  • ark in air: according to the Bible Noah built a ship to save his family and two of every kind of animal from the Flood; images confirm the likeness between Heaney’s father’s origami and Noah’s Ark
  • splay: Heaney is describing the spread of the keel;
  • soggy: wet and soft;

.

2

Newton’s third law of motion focuses on counter-balances: the push and pull of paired objects, the interaction of forces. Heaney extends the idea to include the New World and the Old, life and death: Equal and opposite.

Heaney’s eyes and his mind are uplifted; he is in Hardy-esque mode: the part that lifts/ Into those full-starred heavens that winter sees.

At home in Glanmore after dark he is following a long-haul airplane powering into the ether (the flight path / Of a late jet out of Dublin) its blinking navigation lights Winking ahead of what it hauls away, then the varying wave lengths of sound: Heavy engine noise and its abatement/ Widening far back down.

He cannot sleep (a wake through starlight) and is in Exposure frame of mind (from the North collection) sharing intimate thoughts with Nature around him (The sycamore speaks in sycamore from darkness) and alert to the retrospective impact of the moment (The light behind my shoulder’s cottage lamplight).

The self he observes in the doorway early in the night stands for those who once stood there (Standing-in in myself for all of those/ The stance perpetuates): the parents, stay-at-homes/ Who leant against the jamb and watched and waited; the left-behinds as offspring moved on and away (The ones we learned to love by waving back at) or whom they welcomed home, transformed by new experiences (coming towards again in different clothes); dyed-in-the-wool slightly shy of the culture their children have adopted; folk of long memory (Who never once forgot / A name or a face) yet not linking the house they’d just passed over -/Too far back now to see with all too recent deeply felt goodbyes: the same house / They’d left an hour before, still kissing, kissing,/ As the taxi driver loaded up the cases.

  • Full starred heavens that winter sees: Heaney selects a line from Afterwards by Thomas Hardy, 1840  1928; text here

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,/ And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,/ Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,/ “He was a man who used to notice such things”?/ If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid’s soundless blink,/ The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight/ Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,/ “To him this must have been a familiar sight.”/ If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,/ When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,/ One may say, “He strove that such innocent creatures should/ come to no harm,/ But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.”/ If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,/ Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,/ Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,/ “He was one who had an eye for such mysteries”?

HV selects The Afterwards as the title of the chapter she dedicates to the collection given the many poems involving people caught up in the aftermath of events;

  • abatement: the sound subsiding;
  • wake: dual intent (1) non-sleeping state, insomnia (2) vigil for someone who has died;
  • sycamore: both tree and the ‘language’ it is alleged to speak:
  • stay-at-homes: those who show little ambition or have had little opportunity to venture beyond their own small world be it travel or socializing;
  • jamb: the vertical section of a door-frame

 

3

Jet thrust: Up and away. The space-flight experience of long-haul: airport sound – The buzz from duty free; cheap alcohol: Black velvet. Bourbon; cherished family togetherness: Love letters on high; the extravaganza of New York: spacewalk of Manhattan; then back to earth: re-entry.

Hectic schedules intensified: further afield to California. Laid-back Tiburon./ Burgers at Sam’s with its contrasting local colour (deck-tables and champagne) and even attitudes (as reflected by a wall-eyed, hard-baked seagull looking on). Back to Ireland: Again re-entry; checking how people feel: Vows revowed; away again a year later, increased momentum generated by a longer run-up: Reculer pour sauter, then longer absence: less long goodbye than stand-off.

1972 witnessed the definitive planting of roots in the Irish Republic Glanmore. Glamnore. Glanmore. Glanmore and spiritual uplift: a place to shelter from those who criticized him for the ‘treachery’ of moving to the Irish Republic (At bay); personally comfortable with the decision (at one); no longer a University lecturer but a self-employed poet (at work) still at this point uncertain how bills would be paid but confident (at risk and sure). Idyllic Glanmore, both place to hide and home (Covert and pad) surrounded by woodland: Oak, bay and sycamore.

Ever more frantic transatlantic activity: across and across and across. / Westering, eastering, the aircraft a study for preparing university lectures: Jet-sitting next ( ) the jumbo a school bus.

A post at Harvard University contrasts starkly with his humble farm beginnings ‘The Yard’ a cross between the farm and campus. The period represented a temporary state (holding pattern) that increased his grip on his future career (tautening purchase).

Experience confirmed the common fate of a legendary Irish monarch and Heaney himself: Sweeney astray both of them exiled and regretting what is gone, both faced with the uncomfortable realization that change brought no respite from anxiety: home truths out of Horace (see note below): Skies change, not cares, for those who cross the seas.

  • duty free: both items exempt from paying duty-tax (especially alcohol, tobacco, jewellery) and the area in an airport where they are on sale;
  • Black velvet: Heaney chooses an Irish cocktail made from stout beer stout (often Irish Guinness) and white, sparkling wine, traditionally champagne;
  • re-entry: the return of a spacecraft or missile into the earth’s atmosphere
  • laid-back: relaxed, easy-going;
  • Tiburon: a town just north of San Francisco, California
  • wall-eyed:  eye streaked with white;
  • hard-baked: Heaney tests the imagination – something that is ‘half-baked’ is ‘empty headed’; for it to be ‘hard baked’ might suggest it looked particularly brainless;
  • reculer pour sauter: an old French sporting metaphor offering a dual possibility: defer a difficult decision, stand back to make a decision possible, generate greater momentum by lengthening the run-up;
  • stand-off:  deadlock between two equally matched opponents in a dispute or conflict;
  • at bay: forced to face or confront one’s attackers or pursuers; cornered;
  • covert: a place to take refuge in;
  • pad: informal reference to ‘home’;
  • bay: laurel tree;
  • Yard: pun – name of the University’s grassy central area and reference to farmyards in general;
  • holding pattern: the flight path maintained by an aircraft awaiting permission to land;
  • purchase: firm contact or grip;
  • Sweeney Astray: (Heaney work published in 1983 translated from the Irish) the story traces the fate of a 7th century Irish king turned into a bird following a bishop’s curse and exiled, condemned to a bird’s eye view of home and former life; Sweeney Redevivus of Station Island is a series of poems voiced jointly to Heaney and Sweeney;
  • Skies change: Heaney’s version of Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt – Horace Epistula XI;
  • home truths: uncomfortable facts about oneself, especially as pointed out by another person;

4

 

Heaney recounts an actual encounter 15 years earlier with a Sinn Féin official on a train. Caught up in the subsequent publicity he wishes to set the record straight in the light / Of everything before and since.

Heaney enumerates the facts: the cheerful spring day on which it happened (One bright May morning, nineteen-seventy-nine); what he was doing on the train: Just off the red-eye special from New York; his destination: on the train for Belfast; the unadulterated spiritual uplift of his return: Plain, simple / Exhilaration at being back; what he could see from the window: the sea/ At Skerries ; the promise both of seeing his wife and of spring’s blossoming: nuptial hawthorn bloom. In short, pleasure growing by the instant: The trip north taking sweet hold like a chain /On every bodily sprocket.

Delight is marred by an unwelcome stage-character: Enter then -/ As if he were some film noir border guard, a man he had last met in a dream, except more forbidding (grimfaced) in reality than in the dream itself. His mood shattered, Heaney creates a dramatic screenplay much as in Two Lorries.

The dream that unfolds scene by scene represents an IRA plan to attack a frontier customs post: firstly by involving someone with no known sympathies (he’d flagged me down at the side of a mountain road) secondly by befriending or intimidating the anonymous driver (leant his elbow on the roof/ And explained through the open window of the car) then making it all seem innocent (all I’d have to do was drive a van/ Carefully in to the next customs post/ At Pettigo. Just act above suspicion, he is told (switch off, get out as if I were on my way with dockets to the office) then leave the scene.

The escape plan (I’d walk ten yards more down/ Towards the main street) would be orchestrated by someone known to him: Another schoolfriend’s name, a wink and smile. (It was a fact of Ulster life that given sectarian differences and varying levels of militancy it was all but impossible for Heaney to be sure where he stood with individuals he had known over time.) The job done he would be driven home. No danger attached! Ironically the comparison as safe / As houses would not apply to the properties inside the explosion zone!

Heaney returns to the original drama on the train: the man sits down; in search of support via Heaney’s public voice he does not mince words: goes for me head on./ ‘When, for fuck’s sake, are/ you going to write / Something for us?‘ Heaney ‘s response indicates that his early warning system has kicked in and that he has listened to his own voice in Weighing In: ‘If I do write something,/ Whatever it is, I’ll be writing for myself.’

Nothing more and nothing less than that and if those were not exactly the words he used, that is what he meant: or words to that effect.

To acknowledge that his stance dodged what had triggered the ‘dirty’ protests and left him feeling uneasy (The gaol walls all those months were smeared with shite / Out of Long Kesh) he focuses on one particular inmate: after his dirty protest/ The red eyes were the eyes of Ciaran Nugent.

The Republican protester’s eyes , bloodshot with stress and fatigue formed a ghostly mask Like something out of Dante’s scurfy hell, eyes that bored into Heaney’s conscience Drilling their way through the rhymes and images as he walked in the footsteps of Dante and his honourable companion the righteous Virgil.

From his secure distance Heaney is As safe as houses, free to repeat in his own words an episode from Dante’s Inferno where Ugolino gnaws obsessively away at the subject of his hatred: When he had said all this, his eyes rolled/ And his teeth, like a dog’s teeth clamping round a bone / Bit into the skull and again took hold.

  • record: official report of the proceedings e.g. in a court, here a conversation that has been hotly disputed; Heaney desires to set the record straight by giving his version of events;
  • red-eye: a flight whose departure and arrival times leave a passenger with little hope of sleep;
  • plain and simple: just as it was, no jargon, no need to say anything else;
  • Skerries: a seaside town close to Dublin on the journey from the airport;
  • nuptial: relating to marriage (not anniversary; Heaney was married in August 1965);
  • hawthorn bloom: a tree that flowers in May;
  • sprocket: Heaney alludes to projections on the rim of a wheel that engage with the links of a chain as in the previous line
  • film noir: a film genre characterised by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied to American thriller or detective films made in the years following WWII;
  • dream: Heaney admits to DOD that he did have a dream in which a school friend who had been interned in Long Kesh ( ) asked me to deliver a proxy bomb (p 258)
  • flagged down: signalled to me to stop by waving his arms;
  • Pettigo: a small town between Omagh and the Atlantic coast, on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic; during the Troubles it was rich in Republican activity
  • dockets: (at this border-point) papers with the appearance of some kind of customs warrant certifying that duty has been paid on goods entering a country;
  • a wink and a smile: non-verbal communication implying acceptance of some unstated message;
  • as safe as houses: completely safe; phrase said to originate in people’s decision to invest, not in high-risk ventures, but in safer alternatives like property;
  • head on: confrontationally;
  • smeared with shite: prisoners daubed their excrement on the walls as part of the ‘dirty’ protest;
  • Long Kesh:  (Maze Prison, the Maze, the H Blocks or Long Kesh) a prison in Northern Ireland  that was used to house paramilitary  prisoners during the Troubles from mid-1971 to mid-2000. Prisoners convicted of scheduled offences after 1 March 1976 were housed in the “H-Blocks” that had been constructed. Prisoners without Special Category Status began protesting for its return immediately after they were transferred to the H-Blocks where they lost privileges. Their first act of defiance (they regarded themselves as political prisoners) initiated by Ciaran  Nugent was to refuse to wear prison uniforms; they wrapped themselves in bedsheets. The British government refused to back down. Deprived of the use of toilets without first putting on uniform the prisoners began to defecate within their own cells, smearing excrement on the walls. This began the ‘dirty protest’
  • Ciaran Nugent: best known as the first IRA ‘blanket man’ in the H-Blocks. Heaney was affronted when convicted Republican prisoners who saw themselves as political prisoners lost their special status and were treated as ordinary criminals. Their response was violent and included blanket protests, no-wash protests and hunger strikes. Ciaran Nugent was the first man to be sentenced to the so-called H-Blocks after loss of status;
  • scurfy: flaky, unhealthy
  • Virgil: an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. Dante provides Virgil with a role in the Inferno principally as a ‘guide’ for Dante himself but also as a mentor and father figure;
  • When he had said all thisHeaney opens the link in his mind between intransigent Northern Irish mindsets and the Ugolino episode of Dante’s Inferno XXXIII as he depicts himself accompanying Dante and Virgil. This version of Dante’s tercet also appears in the third section of ‘Ugolino’ in Field Work (1979); Count Ugolino, a treacherous politician doomed to die by starvation with his sons and grandsons in a boarded-up tower. Ugolino gnawed at the subject of his hate in an act of endless, sorrowing revenge.
  • Questioned by DOD about the confrontational incident Heaney explained:

It was all done pretty discreetly, actually. My interlocutor was the Sinn Féin spokesman, Danny Morrison, whom I didn’t particularly know at the time. He came down from his place in the carriage and sat into the seat in front of me for maybe eight or ten minutes. There was nothing loud or noticeable about it; it was as if two people who discovered themselves on the same train by coincidence were getting reacquainted. I didn’t feel menaced. It was a straightforward face-to-face test of will or steadiness. I simply rebelled at being commanded. If anybody was going to pull rank, it wasn’t going to be a party spokesman. This was in pre-hunger-strike times, during ‘the dirty protest’ by Republican prisoners in the H-Blocks. The whole business was weighing on me greatly already and I had toyed with the idea of dedicating the Ugolino translation to the prisoners. But our friend’s intervention put paid to any such gesture ( ) After that, I wouldn’t give and wasn’t so much free to refuse as unfree to accept.”(p257)

  • Heaney offered further insights in conversations with Henri Cole: In 1979, for example, on a train, I actually met a Sinn Fein official who upbraided and challenged me on this score. Why was I not writing something on behalf of the republican prisoners who were then on what was called “the dirty protest” in the Maze Prison? These were people striking for the right to be treated as political prisoners. Thatcher was insisting on treating them as what she called ODCs—Ordinary Decent Criminals. The Tories were attempting to define the IRA as murderers without any political status whatsoever, attempting to rob their acts of any aura of political motivation or liberation. There was a big, big agitation going on in the prison. The prisoners were living in deplorable conditions. Enduring in order to maintain a principle and a dignity. I could understand the whole thing and recognized the force of the argument. And force is indeed the word because what I was being asked to do was to lend my name to something that was also an IRA propaganda campaign ( ) He eventually threw (my refusal) up against me somewhere, saying that I had refused to write or speak out against torture. ( ) … Everything changed for writers in Northern Ireland once the Provisional IRA began to inflict their own violence on people. I had been quite propagandistically involved early on in 1968-1970, but it was my own propaganda, so to speak, expressing a minority viewpoint in places like the New Statesman and The Listener. (Paris Review no 75);
  • Heaney’s writing addressed the conflict ( ) often seeking to put it in a wider historical context. The poet also penned elegies to friends and acquaintances who died in the violence. Describing his reticence to become a “spokesman” for the Troubles, Heaney once said he had “an early warning system telling me to get back inside my own head” from the BBC obituary of 30 August 2013.

5

Heaney takes out his spirit level: having turned his back on the IRA republican model his attention refocuses on the unionist RUC’s equal and unacceptable intrusion in people’s affairs. Questioned at a roadblock ( ) the poet’s response was deliberately insubordinate I answered that I came from ‘far away’ Bovine and irritable he RUC man snapped, ‘Where’s that?’ Heaney feigns charity: He’d only half heard what I said and thought/ It was the name of some place up the country.

His mock charity reveals a truth: at this stage in Heaney’s life Ulster has become a distant reality for him and his family dwelling in the Irish Republic south of Dublin: it isboth where I have been living /And where I left . Resolution of the deep seated problems in Northern Ireland will not be achieved in an instant (a distance still to go); in the greater scheme of time and space hope is slow-moving Like starlight that is light years on the go / From far away and takes light years arriving.

  • light year:  unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year; a huge distance: 6 million-million miles;

 

6

When Heaney least expects it spiritual uplift comes from the sky above (Out of the blue). The mere memory of scaling the heights above a Dordogne landmark is inspiring: sheer exaltation/ Of remembering climbing zig-zag up warm steps / To the hermit’s eyrie above Rocamadour.

From the Crows sailing high and close his gaze descends and settles on a lizard pulsing / On gravel at my feet. A very current association offers itself: its front legs set/ Like the jointed front struts of a moon vehicle.

The moment turns hugely emotional: bigly, softly as the breath of life/ In a breath of air, a lime-green butterfly flies across the sundrenched path they are scaling to salute the hermit (Crossing the pilgrims’ sunstruck via crucis).

Heaney carries a note-book in which to record things that strike him: Eleven in the morning. I made a note saluting ‘Rock-lover (of landscape), loner (one of those who operate independently), sky-sentry (observer of the world from above), all hail!’. What Heaney does not say and what the infers is that, at that instant in time, butterfly and poet were synonymous.

As coda of a sequence that has contained so many negative observations Heaney is confirmatory, reprising the sense of wonder felt by the boy who marveled at his father’s paper-folding at the outset: somewhere the dove rose. And kept on rising.

  • out of the blue: dual intent, both from the cloudless sky above and, figuratively, without warning; unexpectedly;
  • zig-zag: ; veering alternately to right and left, by following contours, less taxing than climbing straight upwards;
  • eyrie: the nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, built high on a cliff;
  • Rocamadour: a picturesque town  in the Lot department of south-western France that has attracted visitors both for its setting in a gorge above a tributary of the River and its historical monuments, its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary  has for centuries attracted pilgrims from around the world, among them kings, bishops, and nobles;
  • hermit: According to legend, Rocamadour was the home of an early Christian hermit named Zaccheus of Jericho. It is believed that he died in about 70 AD and had conversed with Jesus himself. At some point after the hermit’s death and burial in Rocamadour, the site became a place of pilgrimage. Some claim the town was named for the hermit, a “lover of rock” (roc amator);
  • pulsing: with visible signs of blood being pumped around the body;
  • struts: rods or bars forming part of a framework;
  • moon vehicle:  battery-powered four-wheeled rover used on American Apollo missions; images will confirm the imagination of Heaney’s comparison;
  • the first manned mission to land on the moon was in July 1969; coincidentally that same year Heaney was in the Rocamadour area of southern France fulfilling the conditions of the Somerset Maugham Award for Death of a Naturalist;
  • bigly: an unusual adverb suited to the text
  • via crucis: (Latin ‘Way of the Cross’) describing the various routes followed by pilgrims to demonstrate their preparedness to suffer hardship on the route to Compostela in Northern Spain;
  • all hail: warm cry of greeting often extended to nobles and religious figures
  • dove: Heaney has already expressed a similarly deep spiritual and emotional response in Flight Path 1

The recurrent icon is the dove, symbol of peace, love and tenderness but with a spiritual significance echoing the title of the collection The Spirit Level. (In Christian iconography the dove symbolises the Holy Ghost, for example in Renaissance paintings of the Trinity or the Annunciation, to be seen also emerging symbolically from the mouth of Saints.)

  • 6 three line verses devoted to hectic globe-trotting in the Space Age, reflected by short often monsyllabic, sharp, often incomplete sentences and sound-bites, incorporating a host of ideas and feelings;
  • (1) sonnet form linked by 2 half-lines; 9/10 syllables unrhymed;
  • constructed in 2 sentences; legato rhythm achieved by copious use of enjambed lines;
  • vocabulary of dressmaking (pleated) to describe the origami;
  • got reduced’ would have received a teacher’s frown!
  • use of simile; symbolic dove will recur at the end;
  • pun: ‘came clean’ might describe a shady character with something to hide;
  • objective/ subjective/metaphor: description of Old Testament Ark generates emotion;
  • (2) 22 lines in unequal sections, linked to (1) via ‘part;
  • 4 sentence construct; largely 10 syllables; unrhymed;
  • vocabulary of thrust and uplift; sight and sound; element of physics (’Widened’);
  • pun: wake; sycamore (tree and invented language);
  • comparative time: early/late; unusual juxtaposition of preposition ‘in’;
  • implied Irish reaction to unfamiliarity ‘shy’;
  • (3) 6 triplets based on 10 syllables; loose rhyme scheme axa, byb; varied in final triplet aab;
  • 22 sentence construct resemble an enumeration of diary entries and short personal asides;
  • repetition accompanied by musical crescendo: Glanmore x 4;
  • repeated preposition ‘at’ to express different aspects; ‘across’ introduces a note of tedious routine; poetic invention of present participles ‘westering’;
  • variation of published work: Sweeney astray;
  • (4) 4 sections of unequal length, three linked by half-lines; 10 sentence construct; unrhymed
  • line length irregular, based around 10 syllables; ample use of enjambed lines particularly the central section of indirect speech ‘voiced’ to the republican;
  • the sharper exchange between poet and intruder reflected in the flurry of short sentences;
  • the filthy reality of the dirty protest juxtaposed with a fictional Dantean world; quotation;
  • (5)2 quatrains of 10 syllable lines; loose rhymes abba;;
  • use of direct speech;
  • objective then subjective reaction; small incident projected into astrophysics;
  • (6) 9 lines then a triplet; irregular line length 10 – 12 syllables; unrhymed; 6 sentences;
  • puns: ‘out of the blue’ both sky and surprise; ‘sheer’ both unmitigated and steep;
  • metaphorical uplift and ascent; repetition of ‘breath now metaphor, now personification;
  • Latin phrase associated with Catholic training: via crucis;
  • use of present participles reporting a past event; vocabulary of recent moon landings;
  • adjectives ending ‘y as a poetic alternative to ‘-ish’;
  • return of the uplifting symbol ‘dove’ in the final line;
  • Heaney is a meticulous craftsman using combinations of vowel and consonant to form a poem that is something to be listened to;
  • the music of the poem: fourteen assonant strands are woven into the text; Heaney places them grouped within specific areas to create internal rhymes , or reprises them at intervals or threads them through the text.

  • alliterative effects allow pulses or beats or soothings or hissings or frictions of consonant sound to modify the assonant melodies:
  • the first two lines of (1)for example, brings together labio-dental fricative [f] a cluster of alveolar plosives[t] interspersed with nasal [n] and [m];
  • it is well worth teasing out the sound clusters for yourself to admire the poet’s sonic engineering:
  • Consonants (with their phonetic symbols) can be classed according to where in the mouth they occur
  • Front-of-mouth sounds voiceless bi-labial plosive [p] voiced bi-labial plosive [b]; voiceless labio-dental fricative [f] voiced labio-dental fricative [v]; bi-labial nasal [m]; bilabial continuant [w]
  • Behind-the-teeth sounds voiceless alveolar plosive [t] voiced alveolar plosive [d]; voiceless alveolar fricative as in church match [tʃ]; voiced alveolar fricative as in judge age [dʒ]; voiceless dental fricative [θ] as in thin path; voiced dental fricative as in this other [ð]; voiceless alveolar fricative [s] voiced alveolar fricative [z]; continuant [h] alveolar nasal [n] alveolar approximant [l]; alveolar trill [r]; dental ‘y’ [j] as in yet
  • Rear-of-mouth sounds voiceless velar plosive [k] voiced velar plosive [g]; voiceless post-alveolar fricative [ʃ] as in ship sure, voiced post- alveolar fricative [ʒ] as in pleasure; palatal nasal [ŋ] as in ring/ anger.