Seamus Heaney and the Emblems of Hope

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University of Missouri Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 212 pages
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"Explores Seamus Heaney's adaptation of the Celtic ritual known as the Feis of Tara, demonstrates the sovereignty motif's continued relevance in works by Irish poets Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, Eavan Boland, and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, and refutes criticism that charges sexism and overemphasizes sacrifice in Heaney's poetry"--Provided by publisher.
 

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Contents

Introduction Sympathy into Symbol
1
1 Sovereignty and the Irish Talent
9
2 Millennia in Their Eyes
44
3 Heaneys Love to Ireland
72
4 The Fish and the Fisher King
89
5 Bridegroom to the Goddess
108
6 Remembering the Giver
126
Appendix to Chapter 6
163
Conclusion Praying at the Waters Edge
167
Bibliography
177
Index
199
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Page 3 - You have a society in [the] Iron Age where there was ritual bloodletting and killing to a goddess of the territory of the ground. You have a society where girls' heads were shaved for adultery, you have a religion centering on the territory, on a goddess of the ground and of the land and associated with sacrifice. Now in many ways the fury of Irish Republicanism is associated with a religion like this, with a female goddess who has appeared in various guises. She appears as Cathleen Ni Houlihan in...
Page 2 - From that moment, the problems of poetry moved from being simply a matter of achieving the satisfactory verbal icon to being a search for images and symbols adequate to our predicament.
Page 3 - It was chiefly concerned with preserved bodies of men and women found in the bogs of Jutland, naked, strangled or with their throats cut, disposed under the peat since early Iron Age times. The author, PV Glob, argues convincingly that a number of these, and in particular the Tollund Man, whose head is now preserved near Aarhus in the museum at Silkeburg, were ritual sacrifices to the Mother Goddess, the goddess of the ground who needed new bridegrooms each winter to bed with her in her sacred place,...

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