Seamus Heaney - Midnight Anvil - Poetry Analysis

Midnight Anvil

Midnight Anvil   Heaney is reminded of the last seconds of December 31st, 1999 when local blacksmith, Barney Devlin, already in his eighties, struck twelve hammer-blows on his anvil for the millennium. In an article Heaney described this moment as a ‘strike’ similar to the 9/11 ‘strike’ in that both ‘strikes, the one literal, the other metaphorical, acted as ‘tuning-forks’ for poems. Heaney reveals he was not actually present at the event yet can celebrate the resonance of the moment: I can still hear it. Indeed, it could be heard 8,000 miles away: modern technology permitted Devlin’s nephew in Canada to share the moment via The cellular phone/ Held high as a horse’s ear! Heaney italicises the language of medieval poetry to recall the sounds to Church bels beyond the starres. Had he been in the smithy no doubt Barney would have requested a poem to celebrate the event. What […read more….]