Seamus Heaney - Chekhov on Sakhalin - Poetry Analysis

Chekhov on Sakhalin

Chekhov on Sakhalin These instances from a political pilgrimage are dedicated to fellow Ulster man of Letters Derek Mahon (to whom Heaney’s Seeing Things collection is dedicated); amongst their numerous contacts Heaney and Mahon shared, in 1977, an Arts Council tour entitled In Their Element; The poem should be read in the context of the Troubles in Ulster at a time of internment without trial, of H-Blocks at Long Kesh and hunger strikers. Heaney, a poet in the public eye, deplores repressive policies and has sympathy for causes; here he explores the reactions of the Russian author and physician Anton Chekhov, a fellow author faced with similar political circumstances, one who demonstrated the courage of his convictions but who faltered at the final moment.   So … faced with the challenges he has set himself Chekhov has taken a decision to honour ‘his debt to medicine’.   The respite offered […read more….]