Seamus Heaney - Tollund - Poetry Analysis


Tollund Heaney dates this poem to the period immediately following the IRA cease-fire of August 1994 that gave rise to cautious hope. The poet and his wife are in Jutland, Denmark, at the iconic spot where the first of a series of ‘bog bodies’ was excavated in 1950. (The Tollund Man first appeared in Wintering Out, Heaney’s third collection of 1972 and will feature again in District and Circle of 2006.) In one sense just a normal Sunday morning yet special: we had travelled far (both on the day and during the two decades since the first visit). They are engrossed: We stood a long time out in Tollund Moss. What was familiar in the landscape (The low ground, the swart water, the thick grass) contended with a sense of unreality: Hallucinatory. Heaney picks out details: A path through Jutland fields; a faint ambient noise (Light traffic sound); the intermix […read more….]