Seamus Heaney - St Kevin and the Blackbird - Poetry Analysis

St Kevin and the Blackbird

St Kevin and the Blackbird A diptych picking out an event from medieval legend developed around the figure of the sixth-century Irish saint of Glendalough translates into a parable of self-sacrifice and self­-forgetfulness which may also be read as a figure for the way the imagination can be totally possessed by its object NC p190 HV(p159) (one way of formally enacting veteran status or stoic endurance) ‘is to mimic the continuing steadfastness of the stoic stance … in his beautiful double poem of immobility in service’ ‘Now here is another example …’ And then. Heaney is responding to an image of Kevin in which the saint is on his knees arms stretched out, inside/ His cell. The event with which the saint’s celebrity is synonymous gets off to a freakish start: the incongruous posture is down to the narrowness of his room so/ One turned-up palm is out the window. […read more….]