Seamus Heaney - Album - Poetry Analysis


Album ‘Album is a sequence of pictures painted in remembrance and with regret. A motif is introduced: a father-son relationship and the rueful recollection of ‘the Irishman’s reluctance to be too showy in affection, especially in affection between men’.  Thomas McCarthy writing in the Irish Examiner September 2010 i   Heaney’s world has shrunk to the size of the room in which he convalesces; he allows a modern domestic sound to act as catalyst to a fund of memories within him. He pays tribute to the nature of his own parents’ love for one other. As the heating boiler comes to life/ Abruptly, drowsily, its ignition sound sets off a memory-chain from early life, emerging like the timed collapse/ Of a sawn down tree . His focus is revealed: them, unnamed but requiring no introduction. Familiar neighbourhood and time-of-year follow, summer’s long days (echoed in it dawns on me);  the period, too: Grove Hill before the oaks were cut. Use of the modal auxiliary Could have been  may […read more….]