I finished District and Circle by Seamus Heaney a few nights ago. It took me three tries (not because I didn’t like it, but I just kept losing it or not finishing it by the time it was due). It is just what you would hope and expect from Heaney – down to the earth. He also explores some of the things in our daily lives that make us a little uncomfortable, whether it’s a memory or acknowledging a street musician. Of course there’s a nod to Classical lit. and a sequence about the Tollund Man. My favorite poems where the two sequences of sonnets “District and Circle” and “Tollund Man in Springtime.” This volume is filled with what I call Heaneyisms. Really, they’re just hyphenated words. Here’s a few:
flicker-lit, this-worldly, god-beamed, sleet-glit, grey-gristed, sixth-sensed, bog-pooled, milk-fevered, keen-sensed
I was pleased to hear an interview with Heaney discussing this book on public radio while I was on bed-rest at the end of my pregnancy. It was one of the only good things about being on bed rest.