Seamus Heaney - The Lift - Poetry Analysis

The Lift

The Lift   A touching, much-admired poem, filled with a warm humanity for individuals and groups; the piece follows a coffin’s final journey fixing on the instant immediately preceding interment. An initial paradox: Spring is showing signs of life at the very moment of a funeral. An old woman has died. Her funeral is well supported by the local community itself ageing: her cortège filled the road. Ulster might have been rural Brittany with its ritual procession of remote/ Familiar women and men in caps/ Walking four abreast. With an incongruity bordering on outrage the proceedings are disrupted by the throttle and articulated whops / Of a helicopter crossing.  Once the deafening noise has subsided, calm restores itself; not just bringing physical Awareness … of our own footsteps but a shared consciousness of restrictions imposed by political circumstances and questions about restriction: the value of open air, and the life […read more….]