Seamus Heaney - Valediction - Poetry Analysis


Valediction Heaney chooses a title of classical derivation that stresses the idea of final ‘farewell’, ‘adieu’. The young ‘lover’ separated from his ‘lady’ fears her absence might be more than just au revoir. The hold that he confesses she has over him has a touch of medieval ‘courtly love’ about it, that of the male in thrall to his loved one. The poem is more passionate in its expression than some later ones that reveal the poet’s solemn sense of responsibility, no doubt down to his up-bringing. The image he retains of his Lady’s departure reflects both her contemporary tastes and her appeal: frilled blouse/ And simple tartan skirt. Her going has left a gap in home, heart and mind: emptiness has hurt/ All thought. Sea imagery is used to contrast the stability her presence brought (like a vessel that rode easy, anchored/ On a smile) with insecurity born of […read more….]