Seamus Heaney - Station Island – the Sequence(05) V - Poetry Analysis

Station Island – the Sequence V

V The poet encounters three figures who have influenced his personal development. The first is with an old man finding forward momentum difficult: his hands, like soft paws rowing, who groped for and warded off the air ahead. He is identified first by name and then by schoolmaster status: Barney … Master. Murphy’s debilitated shuffle and weakened voice are shadows of his former self: bulling in sudden rage all over again. Respectfully Heaney fell in behind, knowing his place, a lesser mortal, like a man lifting swathes at a mower’s heels. Murphy’s sockless feet are reminiscent of Nature exhibits in the Primary classroom where he worked: the dried broad bean that split its stitches in the display jar. The pilgrim’s polite opening word is the same as that uttered once by shy faces that queued to address their Head Teacher as ‘Master’ spokenjust loudly enough for the ghost to hesitate: he stopped […read more….]