Vol. 1 No. 1 (2011): Italy-Ireland: Cultural Inter-relations, edited by Donatella Abbate Badin and Fiorenzo Fantaccini
Letteratura, linguistica e arti visive / Literature, Language, and Visual Arts

Seamus Heaney’s Revelation of Self Through Community

Published August 4, 2011
How to Cite
Moore, S. (2011). Seamus Heaney’s Revelation of Self Through Community. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 1(1), 349-358. https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-9712


The study is based on the argument that a sound knowledge of a writer’s personal psychological development is just as enlightening as historical and political contexts.  This psychoanalytical approach applies the theory of Object Relations to determine early attachments and identification processes, and leads to fresh readings of Heaney’spoems.  References cover a span of forty years from Death of a Naturalist (1966) to District and Circle (2006).

Heaney’s poetry presents self, parents, ancestors, and community as interdependent elements and his sense of self is ultimately revealed through identification with his first experiences of community.  The poet’s search for harmony and unity also acknowledges the tension, paradoxes, and problems associated with self-discovery.  Recognising and accepting the darkness of past lives as formative, the poet constantly strives for self-knowledge, harmony, and catharsis.