Seamus Heaney - The Poet and His Tradition Cover Image

Seamus Heaney - The Poet and His Tradition
Seamus Heaney - The Poet and His Tradition

Author(s): Suzana Stefanović
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Универзитет у Нишу

Summary/Abstract: This paper explores the influence that the English literary tradition has had on the poetry of Seamus Heaney, notably the work of William Wordsworth. That Heaney epitomizes the dilemma of the modern poet is evident from the tension between the two poetic modes that inform his writing, the "masculine" and the "feminine" mode respectively, or the poetry of the "makers" and "takers." Heaney oscillates between these poetic modes as he struggles to come to terms with his poetic predecessors - William Wordsworth, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. He strives to reconcile the need to be true to his own poetic voice, to work from within the realm of his imagination, and the pressure imposed from without to deal with the social or political predicaments of our age. This paper aims to show the presence and relevance of the Wordsworthian tradition in Heaney's work, by focusing on those aspects of Wordsworth's poetry which Heaney has adopted or assimilated into his work, namely the "spots of time," or the function of memory, the visionary or transcendental aspect of poetry, the act of poetic creation, the fidelity to the simple and commonplace, and nature and the traditional or rural way of life as poetic subjects, to name the most obvious.

  • Issue Year: 02/2001
  • Issue No: 08
  • Page Range: 243-256
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English