Detailed Information

The Poetry of Seamus Heaney

Poets are often considered to exist in a world apart, writing solely for an intellectual audience. However, as a towering presence in Irish culture, Seamus Heaney occupied a rare position as a popular poet and a major cultural voice, and in dealing with the complex issues of memory, identity, The Troubles, and the creative process, Heaney's work pervades the culture in which we live, and has had an indelible impact on Irish life. This course demonstrates that engaging with poetry is an enlightening and enriching experience, and provides a comprehensive chronological overview of the work of Seamus Heaney, from the 1960s to his death in 2013. Students will be provided with strategies to read, interpret, and appreciate Heaney's hugely important work, and develop their own personal relationship with his iconic and moving poetry.

Dates Schedule Time Venue/Location Fee €
03 May 2022 to 24 May 2022 Sessions:
4 Tuesdays
May 3, 10, 17, 24
14.00 Online


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4 Tuesdays

May 03, 10, 17, 24

The Symbol of the Bog: Irish Memory and Trauma
Dealing with The Troubles
Heaney's poetry and the British Empire
Heaney and the Creative Process
Meditations on Mortality


Extracts from the following of Heaney's collections will be examined:

"Death of a Naturalist" (1966)

"North" (1975)

"Station Island" (1984)

"Human Chain" (2010)


At the end of this course, students should be able to:
(a) Discuss the evolution of Heaney's style and themes. 
(b) Interpret Seamus Heaney's poetry in terms of its treatment of the complexities of Irish and Northern Irish history and identity.
(c) Evaluate Heaney's legacy in Irish culture and abroad.