Opened Ground

Opened Ground : Poems, 1966-96

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This volume is a much-needed new selection of Seamus Heaney's work, taking account of recent volumes and of the author's work as a translator, and offering a more generous choice from previous volumes. Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996 comes as close to being a 'Collected Poems' as its author cares to make it. It replaces his New Selected Poems 1966-1987, giving a fuller selection from each of the volumes represented there and adding large parts of those that have appeared since, together with examples of his work as a translator from the Greek, Latin, Italian and other languages. The book concludes with 'Crediting Poetry', the speech with which Seamus Heaney accepted the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded to him, in the words of the Swedish Academy of Letters, for his 'works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth'.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 38mm | 539.77g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 0571194931
  • 9780571194933
  • 30,295

Review Text

As an image of deep feeling between husband and wife submerged beneath the hardworking routines of rustic domesticity, who could improve upon 'love/ like a tinsmith's scoop/ sunk past its gleam/ in the meal-bin'? Who would not thrill to the glimpse of two men with a woodsaw cutting 'Into a felled beech backwards and forwards/ So that they seemed to row the steady earth' from a poem 12 years later? Nobel Prize-winner Heaney's wonderful, not-quite-complete collection, Opened Ground, infiltrates such pleasures into a weave of responsible, self-questioning poetry that captures the physicality of things, as well as the restless conscience of a poet concerned to give due weight to his ancestry and to the violent sectarianism of his Irish background. Each volume sampled here introduces bright and surprising new threads into the oeuvre. There are even a few touches (in The Haw Lantern) of postmodern playfulness. And Seeing Things has an elegiac sequence (for both parents) to die for. One of the richest books of poetry in our language. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical more
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