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Posted March 7, 2009
An uncharacteristic volume, a Nobel-worthy volume
Seamus Heaney is the last English language poet to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and this volume makes the case powerfully. I cannot think of any volume of poetry so well constructed. Although it seems that part one and part two of the volume are different enterprises, the stations of the cross the poet goes through in the title poem are reflected in the lyric poems in the first half. Unlike some of Heaney's work before and since, the poetry is not bucolic, not obsessed with the natural world, and is, instead, focused squarely on the impossible position of the poet who stands between the violent and political world and the timeless qualities that make the world move. This is the greatest of the masterpieces Heaney has written and an essential element of any well stocked mind.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.