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Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996.

Seamus Heaney.

Verlag: Faber & Faber, London, 1998, 1998
ISBN 10: 0571194923 / ISBN 13: 9780571194926
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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996.

Verlag: Faber & Faber, London, 1998

Erscheinungsdatum: 1998

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition


First edition. Hardback. About fine in about fine dust jacket. Buchnummer des Verkäufers A135761

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Inhaltsangabe: This volume is a much-needed new selection of Seamus Heaney's work, taking account of recent volumes and of the author's work as a translator, and offering a more generous choice from previous volumes. Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996 comes as close to being a 'Collected Poems' as its author cares to make it. It replaces his New Selected Poems 1966-1987, giving a fuller selection from each of the volumes represented there and adding large parts of those that have appeared since, together with examples of his work as a translator from the Greek, Latin, Italian and other languages. The book concludes with 'Crediting Poetry', the speech with which Seamus Heaney accepted the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded to him, in the words of the Swedish Academy of Letters, for his 'works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth'.

Rezension: In "Digging", the first poem in Opened Ground, Heaney likens his pen to both spade and gun. With these metaphors in place, he makes clear his difficult poetic task: to delve into the past, both personal and historic, while remaining ever mindful of the potentially fatal power of language. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, where any hint of Gaelic tradition in one's speech was considered a political act, Heaney is all too aware of the dire consequences of speaking one's mind. Indeed, during times of crisis, he has been expected to appear on television and dispense political wisdom. Most often, however, he stays out of the fray and opts for a supreme sense of empathy to guide his words.

As excavator--of earth, of his beloved Gaelic, of his own life--Heaney is unmatched. In "Bone Dreams", the archaeologist's task is synonymous with reaching for a cultural past:

I push back
through dictions,
Elizabethan canopies,
Norman devices,

the erotic mayflowers
of Provence
and the ivied Latins
of churchmen

to the scop's
twang, the iron
flash of consonants
cleaving the line.
And in early poems like "Blackberry Picking", Heaney's images--deftly, delightfully--carry us back to childhood fields:
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full...
Opened Ground is a pleasure and a triumph. These three decades of work confirm Heaney as one of the most important poets of his time. -- Martha Silano

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