Seamus Heaney - Sweeney Out-Takes - Poetry Analysis

Sweeney Out-Takes

Sweeney Out-Takes A three-poem sequence dedicated to the noted contemporary Cork writer and poet Gregory of Corkus, pseudonym for Greg Delanty. Heaney reprises the internal struggles of the medieval Irish king of the Buile Shuibhne (Sweeney Astray,1983). See also the Sweeney Redevivus section in Station Island.  The basic story tells of Sweeney’s behaviour towards Bishop Ronan that brings the curse of madness upon him. He is driven out into the wilderness where readers follow him in his crazed wanderings through the forest and hills, torn within himself by his love of the wild and his incurable loneliness. i Otterboy Heaney imagines a letter sent to her exiled husband by Sweeney’s wife, Eorann, and quotes his reactions to it. The letter reports on happenings ‘back home’: our two otters/ Courting yesterday by the turnhole. The river-life she describes is all that Sweeney loves: natural, unfettered and spontaneous compared with the hierarchic conformist celibacy of an all-male Church. Otterboy turns altar-boy, serving Bishop Finn, Ronan […read more….]