Dante’s Influence on Seamus Heaney’s Poetry on the Troubles in Northern Ireland: “The Strand at Lough Beg,” “An Afterwards” and “Ugolino”

Keywords: Seamus Heaney, Dante, Troubles, Northern Ireland, hunger

Abstract

Dante’s Divine Comedy had an enormous influence on Seamus Heaney’s oeuvre, especially from Field Work (1979) onwards. Heaney exploits the great Dantean epic poem to create a framework that allows him to contextualise some of the most painful political and social episodes in Irish history, namely the Great Hunger and the secular clashes between Protestants and Catholics. Heaney pays special attention to the problems originating from the outburst of the atavistic and sectarian violence—euphemistically known as “the Troubles”—between the unionist and nationalist communities in Northern Ireland as from 1969, causing great suffering and wreaking havoc on the Northern Irish population for decades.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Armour, Peter, annotator. The Divine Comedy. By Dante Alighieri, Everyman’s Library, 1995.

Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 1997.

Brandes, Rand. “Seamus Heaney’s Working Titles: From ‘Advancements of Learning’ to ‘Midnight Anvil’.” The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney, edited by Bernard O’Donoghue, Cambridge UP, 2009, pp. 19–36.

Corcoran, Neil. The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: A Critical Study. Faber and Faber, 1998.

Curtis, Tony, editor. The Art of Seamus Heaney. 4th ed., Wolfhound Press, 2001.

De Petris, Carla. “Heaney and Dante.” Critical Essays on Seamus Heaney, edited by Robert F. Garratt, G. K. Hall, 1995, pp. 161–71.

Dillon, Martin. The Dirty War: Covert Strategies and Tactics Used in Political Conflicts. Routledge, 1999.

Echeverría, Abilio, translator. Divina comedia. By Dante Alighieri, Alianza Editorial, 2017.

Flynn, Leontia. “Poets in the Ninth Circle.” Poetry Ireland Review, A Seamus Heaney Special Issue, edited by Vona Groarke, vol. 113, 2013, pp. 41–42.

Hanley, Brian. The IRA: A Documentary History, 1916–2005. Gill & Macmillan, 2015.

Heaney, Seamus. Death of a Naturalist. Faber and Faber, 1966.

Heaney, Seamus. “Envies and Identifications: Dante and the Modern Poet.” Irish University Review, vol. 15, no. 1, 1985, pp. 5–19.

Heaney, Seamus. Field Work. Faber and Faber, 1979.

Heaney, Seamus. The Government of the Tongue. Faber and Faber, 1988.

Heaney, Seamus. North. Faber and Faber, 1975.

Heaney, Seamus. Station Island. Faber and Faber, 1984.

Heaney, Seamus. Sweeney Astray: A Version from the Irish. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1985.

Heaney, Seamus. Wintering Out. 1972. Faber and Faber, 1993.

Hildebidle, John. “A Decade of Seamus Heaney’s Poetry.” Critical Essays on Seamus Heaney, edited by Robert F. Garratt, G. K. Hall, 1995, pp. 39–55.

McCarthy, Conor. Seamus Heaney and Medieval Poetry. D. S. Brewer, 2008.

McGuinness, Arthur E. Seamus Heaney: Poet and Critic. Peter Lang, 1994.

McKittrick, David, and David McVea. Making Sense of the Troubles: A History of the Northern Ireland Conflict. Viking, Penguin, 2012.

Morrison, Blake. Seamus Heaney. Routledge, 1993.

“Nobel Prize in Literature 1995.” The Nobel Prize, 5 Oct. 1995, www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1995/summary/.

O’Driscoll, Dennis. Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney. Faber and Faber, 2008.

Parker, Michael. Seamus Heaney: The Making of the Poet. Gill & Macmillan, 1993.

Poursanati, Susan. “In Search of a Symbol Adequate to the Predicament: Seamus Heaney’s Adaptation of Dante’s ‘Ugolino’ as a Redress of Poetry.” Estudios Irlandeses, vol. 14, 2019–2020, pp. 135–45, doi:10.24162/EI2019-8839.

Russell, Richard R. Poetry and Peace. U of Notre Dame P, 2010.

Russell, Richard R. Seamus Heaney: An Introduction. Edinburgh UP, 2016.

Ruud, Jay. Critical Companion to Dante: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. Facts on File, 2008.

Sayers, Dorothy L., translator. Purgatory. By Dante Alighieri, Penguin, 1955.

Wallace, David. “Dante in English.” The Cambridge Companion to Dante, edited by Rachel Jacoff, 2nd ed., Cambridge UP, 2007, pp. 281–304.
Published
09/11/2021
How to Cite
Section
Articles