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District and Circle [Hardcover]

Seamus Heaney
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Kindle Edition 5.99  
Hardcover 9.82  
Paperback 6.99  

Book Description

6 April 2006

Seamus Heaney's new collection starts 'in an age of bare hands and cast iron' and ends 'as the automatic lock / clunks shut' in the eerie new conditions of a menaced 21st century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images out of a childhood spent safe from the horrors of World War II - railway sleepers, a sledgehammer, the 'heavyweight silence' of cattle out in rain - are coloured by a strongly contemporary sense that 'anything can happen' and other images from the dangerous present - a journey on the underground, a melting glacier - are fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes a number of prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like 'The Tollund Man in Springtime' and in several poems which 'do the rounds of the district' - its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts - the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals:

Again the growl

Of shutting doors, the jolt and one-off treble

Of iron on iron, then a long centrifual

Haulage of speed through every dragging socket.

(from 'District and Circle')

Frequently Bought Together

District and Circle + Human Chain + The Spirit Level
Price For All Three: 25.90

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st Edition edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571230962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571230969
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 356,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland in 1939. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966 and since then he has published poetry, criticism and translations - including Beowulf (1999) - which established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. District and Circle (2006), his eleventh collection, was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize. Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008. In 2009 he received the David Cohen Prize for Literature. His twelfth collection of poetry, Human Chain, was published in 2010.

Seamus Heaney died in Dublin on August 30th, 2013

Product Description


"A book as original, startling and aesthetically compelling as any since his magisterial 1984 sequence, "Station Island". " --"The Washington Post Book World""" "[Heaney's] voice carries the authenticity and believability of the plainspoken--even though (herein his magic) his words are anything but plainspoken. His stanzas are dense echo chambers of contending nuances and ricocheting sounds. And his is the gift of saying something extraordinary while, line by line, conveying a sense that this is something an ordinary person might actually say." --Brad Leithauser, "The New York Times Book Review"

Book Description

In paperback for Christmas, the new collection of poems from the Nobel Prize winning writer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly rich collection of poems 23 Jan 2007
By peter
District and Circle is a great collection of poems and one of Seamus Heaney's best. These are lovely poems that celebrate and do justice to what is real and of importance in the world. They celebrate physical presence in life and nature. Heaney enables us through the texture of his words to renew our contact and contract with the world. The poems are life-affirming but at the same time the poet is not blind to darkness and mortality and chance, the things that are destructive of love.

Some of my favourite poems in this collection include: The Lift, Nonce Words, In Iowa, Quitting Time and The Blackbird of Glanmore.

This is not just a book to read, it is also a book to re-read and think about and absorb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this collection 9 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was so sad to hear of the death of Seamus Heaney, a truly great poet. I bought this to mark the sad occasion as I had neglected to read these poems up til now. I keep them on my bedside table and read and contemplate on one each night.
Highly recommended.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eliot's scholar 20 Jan 2007
this is an innovative display of language from cover to cover; investing the reader's attention in areas we would usually overlook.

this collection has recently been described as 'exhilarating' by judges which awarded the t. s. eliot award 2006 to it, which celebrates the pinnacle of poetry. dark and mysterious, yet accessible and relevant; this book is essential.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye to all that 11 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Heaney is a "legen" in his own time (I'm sure he would forgive the cliche). He always comes across as a modest man and makes no exaggerated claims: he has nothin to declare except his genius. The poetry can and must be read over and over. Read and let it speak for itself.
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