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Door into the Dark [Hardcover]

Seamus Heaney
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1973
Originally published in 1969, Seamus Heaney's Door into the Dark continues a furrow so startlingly opened in his first collection, Death of a Naturalist (1966). With the sensuosness and physicality of language that would become the hallmark of his early writing, these poems graphically depict the author's rural upbringing, from the local forge to the banks of Lough Neagh, concluding in the preserving waters of the bogland and a look ahead to his next book, Wintering Out (1972).


Product details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (1 Jan 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571089984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571089987
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 894,433 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

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Review

"Heaney has the gift of finding a new and consummate phrase to evoke physical qualities, and when these take on symbolic resonance the result is superb. . . . [This] collection as a whole is a splendid achievement."--Richard Kell, "The Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. 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 have established him as one of the leading poets now at work. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. District and Circle was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2006. Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008. In 2009 he received the David Cohen Prize for Literature. Human Chain was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOSTALGIA TO OBSERVATION 31 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
This second collection from 1969,continues in Heaney's terse,succinct reflective verse style developing in some 25 poems into a longer sequenced poem of fishing exampled in 'a Lough Neagh Sequence' and also in some others a delightful imagist quality of 'as is moments' once frozen in memory,and now released for our delight and then onto the contemporary observation in 'Girls Bathing,Galway 1965'.An excellent albeit complementary companion to 'Death of A Naturalist'
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 31 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great work from a great poet -sadly missed -some of his early work is his best and can appeal to a global audience even though the themes are mainly irish
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seamus Heaney's Door into the Dark 12 May 2000
By Jeannie M. Zeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Seamus Heaney's collection of poems entitled Door into the Dark was originally published in 1969. Heaney is a Nobel laureate and it shows in this volume of poetry. Many of these poems focus on Heaney's native country of Ireland, the landscape, the rural people, the bloodshed. Sometimes Heaney takes you off the face of the planet and into a new realm. In the poem "The Penninsula," he gives the reader a sense of being on a narrow, tenuous stretch of land that seems uninhabited by humans:
The sky is tall as over a runway,/ The land without marks so you will not arrive/
But pass through, though always skirting landfall./ At dusk, horizons drink down sea and hill,/ The ploughed field swallows the whitewashed gable/ And you're in the dark again.
Many of the poems in this volume focus on rural people and the work they do, including a thatcher and a farm wife. As in other work of his, Heaney uses onomatopoeia with energy and exactness. He often forgoes traditional rhyme, but uses internal rhyme which contributes to the rhythm of the poem. Here are lines from "Thatcher" to illustrate my point: "He eyed the old rigging, poked at the eaves,/ Opened and handled sheaves of lashed wheat-straw." One of the fiercest poems in the collection is "Requiem for the Croppies." An Oxford English Dictionary is an important resource. I discovered that Croppies were Irish rebels who, in 1798, cropped their hair very short to show their alliance with the French Revolution. The sonnet seems to be a favorite form of Heaney; he uses it to describe the slaughter of the Irish rebels by English forces:
...on Vinegar Hill, the fatal conclave./ Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at canon./ The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave./ They buried us without shroud or coffin/ And in August the barley grew up out of the grave.
I recommend keeping a dictionary nearby when you read any poetry and certainly when you read Heaney's work. You may want to look up words such as couchant, thatcher, tarn, and bespoke. A reader of poetry knows that every word of every poem is essential in appreciating and understanding the total meaning. Heaney's poetry is intense, challenging, and definitely worthwhile. I recommend any/all of his books.
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