Seamus Heaney - To Mick Joyce in Heaven - Poetry Analysis

To Mick Joyce in Heaven

To Mick Joyce in Heaven. A sequence of 5 sonnets, set at a time when Heaney was five or six years of age, is addressed to the memory of Mick Joyce. Heaney resurrects a figure from the past, recalling him with great warmth, affection and good-humour. The man was ‘demobbed’ at the end of WW2 and, it is suggested, became part of the post-war reconstruction programme. Personal pronouns are those of a shared relationship: you, your, we, I, me. In a sequence that will regularly allude to life-and-death issues, the final couplet of all clarifies Heaney’s subtle choice of title: Mick Joyce now in memoriam is depicted at a moment when, on leave from his duties and very much alive, he was ‘in heaven’ in an altogether different sense. 1. Transition from ‘soldier’ (the use of inverted commas is revealed in the narrative) to craftsman: Kit-bag to tool-bag/ Warshirt to […read more….]