Seamus Heaney - La Toilette - Poetry Analysis

La Toilette

La Toilette The early-morning embrace of a loved one recalls unwelcome memories of Heaney’s Catholic training. The die is cast, however: Marie’s is Heaney’s new sacred body. Initial sensual contact focuses on the nightwear and body of a woman engaged at her ‘toilette’. The speaker’s voice reveals the excitement generated by the way she presents herself: bathrobe/ ungirdled, first coldness of the underbreast . At this moment of physical pleasure he cannot prevent the accessories of Catholic worship from interrupting the intimacy he is enjoying, touch is like a ciborium in the palm. He shakes his head at the Catholic message that they no longer believe in (Remember?); it was coldly dismissive of the physical closeness, allure and sexuality he is now enjoying as one half of a loving couple. Their bodies are not God’s, they are their own. They are each other’s. He lends a mockingly seductive if irreverent […read more….]