Seamus Heaney - Station Island – the Sequence(12) XII - Poetry Analysis

Station Island – the Sequence XII

XII The returning pilgrim is setting foot on the mainland still filled with the memories and echoes of his three-day pilgrimage and still beset by the host of personal questions and doubts that have remained unanswered. The ghost he meets will tell Heaney in no uncertain terms that his anxieties serve no purpose. Clues from the text reveal this final ghost to be that of James Joyce, confirmed by Heaney in his notes. Drained by his experience and stepping ashore Like a convalescent from the Station Island ferry the returning pilgrim accepted a helping hand and sensed again/ an alien comfort. The stranger’s fish-cold and bony grip does not release his hand but whether to guide/ or to be guided is not yet clear. Heaney sifts through the clues as to the identity of the man walking in step beside him, automaton-like, appearing sightless; yet erect (straight as a rush), […read more….]