Seamus Heaney - Wordsworth’s Skates - Poetry Analysis

Wordsworth’s Skates

Wordsworth’s Skates   Heaney responds to an exhibit once worn by a celebrated Romantic poet who lived in the Lake District. This is a poem about celebrity and professional respect. It is also about legacy: signs of presence left behind. It offers insights into the poetic process. For Heaney, visiting Dove Cottage, there is literally and metaphorically a Star in the window. In his mind an idea takes on poetic charge, prompting questions as to what drew his attention (Slate scrape./ Bird or branch?) and provided a stepping-stone to an ice-bound Lake District and the sounds of the whet and scud of steel on placid ice as sharp blades cut into a frozen surface. The skate-blades he saw, the bootless runners lying toppled/ In dust in a display case,/ Their bindings perished opened up a lost world: the reel of them on frozen Windermere. Only a poetic master was capable […read more….]