Seamus Heaney - Whitby-sur-Moyola - Poetry Analysis


Whitby-sur-Moyola The poem’s title is a deliberate conflation: two places miles apart in space and time. Whitby is a seaside town in north-east England and Moyola the river that flowed close to Heaney’s Northern Irish childhood home. The poem pays tribute to two men in one: the first a 7th century poet-herdsman, Caedmon, from Yorkshire whom Heaney has come to know through his studies; the second a yard-man known to Heaney from his farming background. The honesty, wisdom, judgment and compassion of the humble Irish countryman towards his beasts are gifts common to a historical figure regarded by many scholars as the father of English poetry. Now here is another example (too) of privileged contact (lucky to have known) in the long-gone farmyard (Back in situ there) with a man carrying the tools of his trade: his full bucket (the cows are milked) And armfuls of clean straw (the cows […read more….]