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Guilty Knowledge, Guilty PleasureThe Dirty Art of Poetry$
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William Logan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166867

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166867.001.0001

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Heaney’s Chain

Heaney’s Chain

(p.130) Heaney’s Chain
Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure

William Logan

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews Seamus Heaney's Human Chain. Heaney is the most popular literary poet since Frost, who convinced most of his readers that he wasn't a literary poet at all. Readers often love in Heaney what they loved in Frost, the unassumed and unassuming wisdom. In Human Chain the poet is again a child in the world of things, his attention drawn to objects such as the binder and the baler, the heating boiler and the mite box and the gold-banded fountain pen—possessions that also possess, things that seize the people who use them. While far from being Heaney's best book, he is still good at the character sketches from the Irish hinterlands, the deft evocations of common objects, the elegies and funerals that increasingly have dominated his work.

Keywords:   Seamus Heaney, poets, poetry, Human Chain, poems, reviews

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