Seamus Heaney - Home Fires - Poetry Analysis

Home Fires

Home Fires   A Scuttle for Dorothy Wordsworth   ‘A Tale of Two Dorothys’ in appreciation of William Wordsworth’s sister at different stages in her life. The first Dorothy young, stacking and raking the grate with tetchy, even noisy determination, jig-jigging her iron shovel/ Barracking a pile of lumpy coals. Heaney has learnt of or invented (possibly from memorabilia exhibited in the Wordsworth Cottage at Grasmere) a coal-man bearing a particularly appropriate name: Thomas Ashburner. At this moment in time, however, Dorothy is indifferent to all that, too wracked with pain to spare any thoughts for him: Her toothache/ ablaze, aggravated by the stoking process she is engaged in: as every jolt and jag/ Backstabs her. The second Dorothy old, mentally and physically frail with age, sitting alone in front of an open fire (doting in the flicker/ In a brass companion-set), her socialising a thing of the past: all […read more….]