Selected Poems 1966-1987

Selected Poems 1966-1987

by Seamus Heaney


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Selected Poems 1966-1987 by Seamus Heaney

"Between my fingers and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I'll dig with it."

Selected Poems 1966–1987 assembles the groundbreaking work of the first half of Seamus Heaney's extraordinary career. This edition, arranged by the author himself, includes the seminal early poetry that struck readers with the force of revelation and heralded the arrival of an heir to Gerard Manley Hopkins, W. B. Yeats, and Robert Frost.

Helen Vendler called Heaney "a poet of the in-between," and the work collected here dwells in the borderlands dividing the ancient and the contemporary, the mythic and the quotidian. Gathering poetry from his first seven collections, Selected Poems 1966-1987 presents the young man from County Derry, Northern Ireland, who "emerged from a hidden, a buried life" in Death of a Naturalist (1966), with his cherished poems "Digging" and "Mid-term Break"; the poet of conscience "as bleak as he is bright" in "Whatever You Say Say Nothing" and "Singing School"; and the astonishingly gifted, mature craftsman behind Field Work (1979) and Station Island (1984)—an artist uncannily attuned to the "music of what happens," restlessly searching "for images and symbols adequate to our predicament."

This volume, together with its companion Selected Poems 1988–2013, allows us to revisit the essential work of one of the great writers of our age through his own compilation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374535605
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 11/18/2014
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 339,300
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His poems, plays, translations, and essays include Opened Ground, Electric Light, Beowulf, The Spirit Level, District and Circle, and Finders Keepers. Robert Lowell praised Heaney as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats."

Table of Contents

from Death of a Naturalist (1966)

Digging 1

Death of a Naturalist 3

Blackberry-Picking 5

Follower 6

Mid-Term Break 7

Poem 8

Personal Helicon 9

from Door into the Dark (1969)

Thatcher 10

The Peninsula 11

Requiem for the Croppies 12

The Wife's Tale 13

Night Drive 15

Relic of Memory 16

Bogland 17

from Wintering Out (1972)

Bog Oak 19

Anahorish 21

Gifts of Rain 22

Broagh 25

Oracle 26

A New Song 27

The Other Side 28

The Tollund Man 31

Wedding Day 33

Summer Home 34

Limbo 37

Bye-Child 38

Westering 40

from Stations (1975)

Nesting-Ground 42

England's Difficulty 43

Visitant 44

Trial Runs 45

Cloistered 46

The Stations of the West 47

Incertus 48

from North (1975)

Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication

1 Sunlight 49

2 The Seed Cutters 51

Funeral Rites 52

North 56

Viking Dublin: Trial Pieces 58

Bone Dreams 62

Bog Queen 66

The Grauballe Man 69

Punishment 71

Strange Fruit 73

Act of Union 74

Hercules and Antaeus 76

from Whatever You Say Say Nothing 78

from Singing School 81

1 The Ministry of Fear 82

2 A Constable Calls 85

4 Summer 1969 87

5 Fosterage 89

6 Exposure 90

from Field Work (1979)

Oysters 92


I After a Killing 93

II Sibyl 94

III At the Water's Edge 95

The Toome Road 96

A Drink of Water 97

The Strand at Lough Beg 98

Casualty 100

Badgers 104

The Singer's House 106

The Guttural Muse 108

Glanmore Sonnets 109

An Afterwards 119

The Otter 120

The Skunk 122

A Dream of Jealousy 123

from Field Work 124

Song 127

The Harvest Bow 128

In Memoriam Francis Ledwidge 130

from Sweeney Astray (1983)

Sweeney Praises the Trees 132

Sweeney Astray 135

Sweeney's Lament on Ailsa Craig 139

Sweeney in Cormacht 142

Sweeney's Last Poem 144

from Station Island (1984)

The Underground 146

Sloe Gin 147

Chekhov on Sakhalin 148

Sandstone Keepsake 150

from Shelf Life

Granite Chip 151

Old Smoothing Iron 152

Stone from Delphi 153

Making Strange 154

A Hazel Stick for Catherine Ann 156

A Kite for Michael and Christopher 158

The Railway Children 159

The King of the Ditchbacks 160

Station Island 163

from Sweeney Redivivus

In the Beech 194

The First Kingdom 195

The First Flight 196

Drifting Off 198

The Cleric 200

The Master 202

The Scribes 203

Holly 204

An Artist 205

In Illo Tempore 206

On the Road 207

from The Haw Lantern (1987)

For Bernard and Jane McCabe 210

Alphabets 211

Terminus 214

From the Frontier of Writing 216

The Haw Lantern 217

From the Republic of Conscience 218

Hailstones 220

The Stone Verdict 222

The Spoonbait 223

Clearances 224

The Milk Factory 233

The Wishing Tree 234

Wolfe Tone 235

From the Canton of Expectation 236

The Mud Vision 238

The Disappearing Island 240

Notes 242

Index 243

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Selected Poems: 1966-1987 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read my story at 'ferjin' results 1-5. : ) Cori
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of the poems in this collection are hard to understand and make the reader think deeply. A lot of simbolism, but at the same rate, it is very sentimental. Talks about family values, home and nature in a beautiful way.