Seamus Heaney - Canopy - Poetry Analysis

Canopy

Canopy Heaney reflects on a visual arts installation dating from May 1994. The title triggers instant thoughts of primeval forest and the sights and sounds of tree-tops, Heaney’s launch recalls the Spring-is-in-the-air suggestiveness of the most famous of the English madrigals, by Thomas Morley published in 1595 (Now is the Month of Maying).  Spring was in the air in Harvard Yard and with it a hush of anticipation: There was whispering everywhere. An English visual artist had installed a sound system in the tree-tops: Voice boxes in the branches; 1990’s technology disguised, wrapped in sacking/ Looking like old wasps’ nests, or (suggestive of the way they were suspended) like bat-fruit in the gloaming with the lumpy profile of Shadow Adam’s apples.  Heaney ‘paints a picture’ in sound whereby fitful amplification distorts utterances: sibilant ebb and flow/ Speech-gutterings, desultory/ Hush and backwash and echo.  What he hears opens imaginative possibilities: a spiritual dialogue in Nature (a recording/ Of […read more….]