Professing Poetry : Seamus Heaney's Poetics, Paperback / softback Book

Professing Poetry : Seamus Heaney's Poetics Paperback / softback


Nobel Prize winning Irish writer Seamus Heaney has been an ambitious critic as well as poet, publishing five books of literary criticism in the four decades of his career.

This book surveys his critical essays, setting forth Heaney's poetics - his concept of what poetry should be and what its uses are - and relating them to his practice as a poet.

The first full-length study of Heaney's poetics, ""Professing Poetry"" explores Heaney's unusual concept of influence and the various ways in which Heaney interacts with other writers.

It shows how Heaney, writing brilliantly about others, establishes quiet partnerships with them.

It shows as well how he sometimes resists writers, sometimes misrepresenting them and even himself in the process.

The book returns frequently to Heaney's anxiety about poetry's justification, to his wariness of the politicizing of poetry, and to his spirited and eloquent defense of what he calls poetry's 'redress'.

Heaney wants to 'make sense' of poetry in the context of the modern world, but he feels the pull of contradictory opinions.

Poetry, he sometimes thinks, should immerse us in the world.

At other times Heaney thinks it redeems us by putting us at a distance from the world. ""Professing Poetry"" aspires to a simple language described by Heaney in Finders Keepers as one in which 'there will be no gap between the professional idiom and the personal recognition'.

The study considers Heaney's relations with Robert Lowell, Dante, Philip Larkin, Patrick Kavanagh, T.S.

Eliot, W.B. Yeats, and others.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 254 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9780813218564



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