The Shoes of a Clown
So I was at home doing the washing up
As though we hoped to be forgiven
Reading Philip Hodgins at 40,000 Feet
Phobia of Red
from Marble Mountain
Barnancleeve Gap Erotics
Neolithic Copper Mines: Locations as Marked
Looking Back to Mt Macedon and ‘Hanging Rock’ from Jam Tree Gully
After the Ceremony
We Have Kissed the Four-Legged Gods Goodnight
To Please the Gods
Mischa Foster Poole
from Week of Kindness
A Course in Miracles
Alice/A great girl like you
Seven Years’ Love
Three dreams about a sinkhole
from Love songs to the Shark
Heaney's poems first came to public attention in the mid-1960s when he was active as one of a group of poets who were subsequently recognized as constituting something of a "Northern School" within Irish writing. Although Heaney is stylistically and temperamentally different from such writers as Michael Longley and Derek Mahon (his contemporaries), and Paul Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian and Ciaran Carson (members of a younger Northern Irish generation), he does share with all of them the fate of having be en born into a society deeply divided along religious and political lines, one which was doomed moreover to suffer a quarter-century of violence, polarization and inner distrust. This had the effect not only of darkening the mood of Heaney's work in the 1970s, but also of giving him a deep preoccupation with the question of poetry's responsibilities and prerogatives in the world, since poetry is poised between a need for creative freedom within itself and a pressure to express the sense of social obligation felt by the poet as citizen. The essays in Heaney's three main prose collections, but especially those in (1988) and (1995), bear witness to the seriousness which this question assumed for him as he was coming into his own as a writer.
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Fran Brearton is Professor of Modern Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast and Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. She is the author of The Great War in Irish Poetry and Reading Michael Longley.
Branch-Lines captures the range of Thomas’s achievement, not least by combining poetry with prose. In this unique collection, fifty-five contemporary poets reflect on Thomas’s craftsmanship and enduring power. Some have chosen poems of their own in which they detect his influence, others have written new poems in his honour. Each poet has also contributed a piece of prose, and the volume contains an introduction, four critical essays, illustrations, a Foreword by Andrew Motion and an Afterword by Michael Longley.