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Door into the Dark (Faber Paperbacks) Paperback – 7 Oct 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (7 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571101267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571101269
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.6 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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"

Book Description

Door into the Dark, by Seamus Heaney, depicts the Irish poet's rural upbringing with the sensuousness and physicality of language that would become the hallmark of his early writing.

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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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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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I love everything about Seamus Heaney apart from the fact that he know longer walks this planet in the same form.
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Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The barley grew up out of the grave." 15 July 2016
By R. M. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
DOOR INTO THE DARK (1969) is Seamus Heaney's second book of poems. As with the first, "Death of a Naturalist", many of the poems have as their subject the rural life. For example: a forge and the blacksmith, stables, breeding a cow to a bull, a thatcher, a frozen outdoor water pump, and threshing. Some deal with fishing and eeling, notably the beguiling seven-poem "A Lough Neagh Sequence". A few deal with Ireland and one, my favorite, with Irish history. That is "Requiem for the Croppies", which I here set out:

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley --
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp --
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people, hardly marching -- on the hike --
We found new tactics happening each day:
We'd cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until, on Vinegar Hill, the fatal conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
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.

Though of the thirty-four poems, there is only one other sonnet, most of the poems are formal and many employ rhyme. That is one reason I take to Heaney. Another is that he writes about people and human activity (rather than abstractions or metaphysics), and hence his poems are easily understood.
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