Studi Irlandesi (Aug 2011)

<em>Seamus Heaney’s Revelation of Self Through Community</em>

  • Sharon Moore

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 1


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The study is based on the argument that a sound knowledge of a writer’s personal psychological development is just as enlightening as historical and political contexts. This psychoanalytical approach applies the theory of Object Relations to determine early attachments and identification processes, and leads to fresh readings of Heaney’spoems. References cover a span of forty years from Death of a Naturalist (1966) to District and Circle (2006). Heaney’s poetry presents self, parents, ancestors, and community as interdependent elements and his sense of self is ultimately revealed through identification with his first experiences of community. The poet’s search for harmony and unity also acknowledges the tension, paradoxes, and problems associated with self-discovery. Recognising and accepting the darkness of past lives as formative, the poet constantly strives for self-knowledge, harmony, and catharsis.