Seamus Heaney - Traditions - Poetry Analysis

Traditions

Traditions For Tom Flanagan Heaney met Tom Flanagan and was inspired by his Ireland-centred thinking at Berkeley. He explains the dedication: ‘It was Tom’s poem because I lifted the conclusion of it from his book on the Irish novelists (The Irish Novelists 1800-1850). The epigraph to that book juxtaposes MacMorris’s question in Henry V ( ) with Bloom’s answer in Ulysses … (Bloom’s reply) seemed to cut through a lot of the Identity crisis stuff that surrounded us in the early seventies so I stole it for the end of the poem’ (DOD143). The title introduces national stereotypes and the piece will pull the rug from under their feet. I The speaker identifies closely (Our) with the guttural muse of throaty Irish Gaelic, taken over long ago by the alliterative tradition (alliterative’, suggests MP(p98) because the earliest metres of English poetry, in Anglo-Saxon and Middle English, were alliterative in form). […read more….]