Seamus Heaney - A Northern Hoard - Poetry Analysis

A Northern Hoard

A Northern Hoard And some in dreams assured were/ of the Spirit that plagued us so Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner of 1798 provides the epigraph to the sequence. Coleridge’s long fable deals with the consequences of an aberrant act upon both the sinner and those around him; it weaves together matters of conscience, danger, serenity, the supernatural, mental health and salvation; it introduces spirits that come to haunt the mariner’s conscience; it picks out the sad fate of ordinary people caught in a vicious circle; it condemns the mariner to wander the earth re-telling his story in an attempt to leave people sadder and wiser. hoard: stock, store; for the poet his store of words. Heaney presents a five part sequence, a shifting series of phantasms, illusions and dream-like appearances created by the imagination but triggered by deteriorating circumstances in Northern Ireland. The poet’s need to […read more….]