The Early Purges

The title is borrowed from totalitarian politics where ‘purges’ removed elements deemed ‘undesirable’ by those in power. Heaney applies it to the cruel realities of farm-yard life as he experienced them as a six-year-old. A youngster’s innate feelings are challenged. The boy has a conscience and sympathies but (as Heaney, perhaps, later in the Troubles) is never an active contributor […]