Seamus Heaney - The Clip - Poetry Analysis

The Clip

The Clip   Memory of another childhood routine in a rural Irish community: the hair-cut. In a touching sonnet that reveals much about the poet’s own sensitive, observant and imaginative nature, Heaney describes his first barber shop. It is in the home of a villager: Harry Boyle’s one-room, one-chimney house/ With its settle bed where everything takes place including the hair-dressing. The hair-cut is known in the village by its colloquial title of clip. Heaney’s memories of the process are rich in touch, sound and sight data: Cold smooth creeping steel and snicky scissors/ The strong-armed chair. The protective cloth placed around his neck acted as a catalyst for the boy’s fertile imagination: …the plain mysteriousness/ Of your sheeted self inside that {cleric’s) neck-tied cope, (or altar-/ choir-boy’s) Half-sleeved surplice, or (1950’s southern-state American white supremacist) half hoodless Ku Klux cape. Heaney repeats the initial phrase then mounts the path leading […read more….]