Seamus Heaney - To George Seferis in the Underworld - Poetry Analysis

To George Seferis in the Underworld

To George Seferis in the Underworld The epigraph is quoted from Roderick Beaton’s George Seferis, Waiting for the Angel. It sets off a number of lines of interest in Heaney: how the poet appears to observers, his thought and preoccupations mistaken for absent-mindedness; the poet’s mental search to retrieve information; the extraordinary associations that the ‘poet’ dreams up in response to objects (here Heaney responds to ‘spiky’ sharpness); above all however Heaney recognises in Seferis a man like himself, reluctant to take political sides in public. Heaney portrays Seferis standing in asphodel. The plant which grows wild in Greece is the same immortal flower that grew in Elysium (the abode of the blessed after death in classical Antiquity), a rightly appropriate setting for a poet of Seferis’ stature. Heaney’s chosen symbol is a very different grass of Celtic origin: why do I think seggans? He recalls a particular moment in […read more….]