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Field Work - Seamus Heaney

Paperback Published: 10th January 1998
ISBN: 9780571114337
Number Of Pages: 80

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At the centre of this collection, which includes groups of elegies and love poems, there is a short sonnet sequence which concentrates themes apparent elsewhere in the book: the individual's responsibility for his own choices, the artist's commitment to his vocation, the vulnerability of all in the face of circumstance and death.'Throughout the volume Heaney's outstanding gifts, his eye, his ear, his understanding of the poetic language are on display - this is a book we cannot do without.' Martin Dodsworth, Guardian

Industry Reviews

Field Work is Seamus Heaney's fifth book of poems, and his first to be published in this country. His strong and beautiful verse already has a following on American campuses, and this fine new book will undoubtedly extend the range of his influence. His Ireland is an "island. . . full of comfortless voices"; he lived in Belfast for many years, as the elegies for the war dead ("Casualty," "A Postcard from North Antrim," etc.) and other troubled poems attest. "Ugolino," the translation of a passage from The Divine Comedy, also concerns war and vengeance, and injustice: "For the sins/ of Ugolino, who betrayed your forts,/ Should never have been visited on his sons." The delicate "Elegy" is a memory of Robert Lowell's last days. But Heaney's Ireland is also quotidian: "She came every morning to draw water/ Like an old bat staggering up the field:/ The pump's whooping cough, the bucket's clatter/ And slow diminuendo as it filled,/ Announced her." Ten "Glanmore Sonnets," which occupy a central place in the book, commemorate an easing in the poet's life, a time when "Vowels ploughed into other: opened ground"; and this is the "field work" of the title poem as well. Looking at an ugly badger, Heaney asks: "How perilous is it to choose/ not to love the life we're shown?" Waist-deep in language, he does. A fine introduction to a staunch, resonant spirit. (Kirkus Reviews)

ISBN: 9780571114337
ISBN-10: 0571114334
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 80
Published: 10th January 1998
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0  x 0.7
Weight (kg): 0.11
Edition Number: 1

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