Seamus Heaney - A Bat on the Road - Poetry Analysis

A Bat on the Road

A Bat on the Road   The epigraph is borrowed from James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: A batlike soul waking to consciousness of itself in darkness and secrecy and loneliness. The final nouns defining the main ingredients of bat-like existence (shortage of light/ enlightenment; drawing back from human contact; isolation even outsider status) are equally the metaphorical embodiment of the creative spirit, be it a Joyce or a Heaney; these factors count amongst the issues hampering Heaney at this stage in his poetical development. Placed here within a series of poems of transition the bat is a ‘soul-mate’, a liberating spirit. You would (the repeated action perhaps of an anonymous companion on the rural walks of Heaney’s younger days) dislodge bats from their natural habitat using an old hat on the tines of a fork. Responses of the diminutive creature were predictable: slight/ bat-thump and […read more….]