Seamus Heaney - Away from it All - Poetry Analysis

Away from it All

Away from it All The poem should be read in the context of the ‘Troubles’ in Ulster at a time of internment without trial, of the H-Blocks at Long Kesh and of hunger strikers, summed up in‘it All‘. Heaney, a poet in the public eye, acknowledges that he has often been absent from Ulster as events unfolded; he has sympathy for ’causes’, but is unsure what stance he ought to adopt. The speaker and his anonymous friend are enjoying a convivial session in a seafood restaurant (let us suggest, to coincide with Heaney’s first meeting with Czeslaw Milosz, that the setting is somewhere on the Californian coast); others are almost certainly present. The poem explores the tensions writers share as regards their creativity, their historical moment, their take on political ‘engagement’ and their comments reported in the media. A lobster is prised with cold steel fork from the tank in […read more….]