Seamus Heaney - Cairn-maker - Poetry Analysis


Cairn-maker For Barrie Cooke Poem dedicated to the British born artist and family friend living in Ireland since 1954 (Cooke painted a portrait of the poet). Heaney reveals to DOD (p148) that as he and his wife actively contemplated changes in the direction of their lives they visited Cooke who had fashioned a self-sufficient existence for himself in Kilkenny. The poet went on outings with Cooke, a 2-and 3-dimensional artist fascinated by natural materials and designs. The clues mount up: on a walk cairns would have provided Cooke with a creative distraction. He is the cairn-maker. Cairns are a feature of the Burren landscape since the earliest times and Heaney’s Cairn-maker latest in a line of builders. The poet observes the man at work (That whole day) responding to what he is seeing and affirming the cairn’s wider contribution to Irish culture. The man’s stone procurement amounted to theft (He […read more….]