Seamus Heaney - Anything Can Happen - Poetry Analysis

Anything Can Happen

Anything Can Happen. Of the outrages that occurred increasingly regularly in the 5 years following Heaney’s previous published volume, it was the ‘strike’ of 9/11 that persuaded him to write Anything Can Happen. He adapts Horace’s Ode I, 34 to focus on the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. This act had brought Heaney to a ‘terrified awareness that ‘the tallest things can be brought low’ and demonstrated that absolutely nothing was beyond the bounds of possibility. Both poems introduce Jupiter from classical mythology; sovereign God of the Romans, omnipotent, identified with the sky, storms and lightning. In the Heaney version Jupiter will mostly wait for clouds to gather head/ Before he hurls the lightning but on this occasion and totally unexpectedly, galloped his thunder cart and his horses / Across a clear blue sky. The metaphor is graphic: no-one who witnessed 9/11 […read more….]