District and Circle

District and Circle

Seamus Heaney / Sep 16, 2019

District and Circle District and Circle inhabits the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty first century In their haunted almost visionary clarity the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the ha

  • Title: District and Circle
  • Author: Seamus Heaney
  • ISBN: 9780374530815
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Paperback
  • District and Circle inhabits the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty first century In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory Scenes from a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that Anything can happen, and other iDistrict and Circle inhabits the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty first century In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory Scenes from a childhood spent far from the horrors of World War II are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that Anything can happen, and other images from the dangerous present a fireman s helmet, a journey on the Underground, a melting glacier are fraught with this same anxiety But the volume, which includes some found prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language With relish and conviction than ever, Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.

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      Published :2018-09-05T08:45:40+00:00

    About "Seamus Heaney"

      • Seamus Heaney

        Seamus Justin Heaney was an Irish poet, writer and lecturer from County Derry, Ireland He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past Heaney on.


    865 Comments

    1. The poet’s death on August 30, 2013, prompted me to search through my piles and shelves of unread books to see if perchance I had one more collection of Seamus Heaney’s poetry that I hadn’t yet devoured. For the moment I ignored the long shelf of read Heaney. After some searching I found District and Circle, his next to last collection, from 2006. So I began reading (and then pulled down the previously read Opened Ground, Selected Poems 1966-1996 (1998) and the two other collections publis [...]


    2. The first half of the book is just okay, the second half has poems that are absolutely beautiful! Some of the best poems, in my opinion, are A Hagging Match, The Birch Grove, and Cavafy: The rest I'll speak off to the one's below in Hades.Here's an example of Heaney at his best:If self is a location, so is loveBearings taken, markings, cardinal points,Options, obstinacies, dug heels and distance,Here and there, now and then, a stance.


    3. 'There was never a scene / when I had it out with myself or with another. / The loss occurred off-stage. And yet I cannot / disavow words like "thanksgiving" or "host" / or "communion bread". They have an undying / tremor and draw, like well water far down.''Out of This World' 1. 'Like everybody else''We are all products of our experiences, our memories. They are inescapable and relentless. In 'District and Circle' Heaney applies his genius to the exploration of his childhood, memories of the wa [...]


    4. Highlights: Anahorish 1944, Anything Can Happen, The Lift, Höfn, A Hagging Match, Home Help, The Birch Grove


    5. Poetry for the dedicated poetry reader - for a casual look in, Seamus Heaney is a tough challenge. His language, his treasure chest of unfamiliar words, the intensity of the focus on one emotion or snapshot of life, make the poems of District and Circle little mysteries. I found myself enjoying the puzzle of picturing what the words imagined and, often, coming away with not much at all. Curiously, perhaps a reflexion of my own comfort and familiarity with prose, the middle piece written in parag [...]


    6. These are somewhat difficult poems to read at first. They are not difficult because of encyclopedic obscure references, like, say, Pound, or because of solipsistic personal references like, say, John Ashbury, or because of meterless syntactic and semantic experimentation like so much contemporary poetry. The syntax is strictly gramatic, but constantly requires and rewards your full attention, like a stony path. There are many obscure, but always concrete and evocative words, drawn mostly form th [...]


    7. Really, what're you gonna say, the guy's a fecking Nobel laureate. I was lost in some of the first poems, not knowing the terminology (Irish or rural or both). The language is so musical, though. Jaysus.


    8. I liked the other Heaney collection I read better. However, the found prose collection is pretty good as is the poem dedicated to Ted Hughes


    9. Ik vind deze bundel moeilijk te beoordelen, vooral vanwege het feit dat ik Heaney ondoordringbaar vind. De beelden die hij oproept zijn me onbekend, en het onderliggende gevoel komt dan niet aan. En dat vind ik jammer.De veelvuldige verwijzingen naar zijn thuisland en jeugd zorgen enerzijds voor een vertrouwelijke sfeer, maar het voelt anderzijds alsof je het nooit zal begrijpen zoals zij die dat doorleefd hebben. Zijn imposante taalgebruik is voor mij iets te druk, iets te gedetailleerd. Het ge [...]


    10. Seamus Heaney is a poet of the present moment and observation. Reading his work is like falling into his memory, experiencing the world at once through a gaze both attentive and mythic. The world, for him, was tinged in something magical while at the same moment so very much there. Here are the calloused hands, the bite of cold as you breathe in, the sweat of the brow and the dirt as your toes sink into it. He is a rare breed, and somewhere between the organic word and the translations you find [...]


    11. A rare book, to be savoured. I really enjoyed the variety of poems in this book - he explores the human condition beautifully in poems about modern urban life and his rural upbringing.Superb laying out of words and so many ‘killer’ lines and titles. Read ‘The Lift’ - so typical of Heaney - an Irish woman’s life and death and funeral wonderfully laid out. One verse - ‘‘A lifetime, then a death time: reticence Keeping us together when together,All declaration deemed outspokenness.’ [...]



    12. i don't think this was the right time for me to have read this collection. couldn't really connect with most of the poems, nothing like my experience reading Death of a Naturalist. but, of course, i will keep on reading heaney's books--of course.


    13. “District and Circle” is a collection of 44 poems by the Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney that was released in 2006. One feels the essence of the 20th century across this collection. There are a couple poems that refer to World War II, not from the perspective of crucial events and violent clashes, but as it was experienced in “the District” (e.g. “Anahorish 1944.”) There are also a number of poems that make industrialization romantic or—at least, in some way--evocative. Heaney writes [...]


    14. Beautiful, visionary poetry (why does the blurb say 'almost visionary'? What does that even mean?) which transforms the world even as it describes it. An old fireman's helmet, a turnip shredder, a coal scuttle, a harrow pin - ordinary objects become the focal points of memory and rewarders of the spirit's attention. A triptych of poems in memory of Czeslaw Millosz describes a man in a Belfast doorway playing saw music, a music that Milosz 'would not have renounced, however paltry'. And Heaney ad [...]


    15. This collection seemed at first a little sparse and disparate in theme, and in terms of language I felt in the early poems that Heaney was running over a lot of the same territory he covered in the 70s. However, as it progressed into its second "movement" (if that's the right word), in every poem from the new "Tollund Man" onward, District and Circle attacked fresh and new thematic terrain, and in terms of versification went quite far afield of much of Heaney's canon. "In a Loaning" was a four-l [...]


    16. When I first read Seamus Heaney's poetry I was blown away. His artful use of dialogue, rhythm, annd description are the perfect tools for crafitng poetry. Yet, I felt that this collection fell short of my expectations. His telltale skills are still present, but I felt that the scope of the subject of this collection was far too broad. He focuses on "normal" life in Ireland, but he stretches it all the way from the legendary Tollund Man (a historical subject) to modern city infrastructures. The d [...]


    17. Modern poetry is a hard and unforgiving art. Eschewing rhyme, meter, and well-worn structure puts the focus so much more on other aspects of poetic diction such as metaphor, motif, evocative mood, or word choice. When one of those strikes you in the face, it can be really something but when those don't work (in both the objective and subjective sense), it can be really dissatisfying.This collection had a few gems (for example, Helmet, The Tollund Man in Springtime, or The Blackbird of Glanmore), [...]



    18. The Edgeware Road Station on the London Underground marks the convergence of the Circle Line with the District Line. It is also the sight of the July, 2005, terrorist bombings. In District and Circle by Seamus Heaney there is a convergence of many circles, youth to old-age, rural to urban, mechanical to electronic, fleeting to eternal, concrete to abstract, familiar to distant. In a strong lyric voice Heaney presents a grounded realism that keeps the images from being mere abstractions. In his N [...]


    19. Critics describe Heaney's newest book of poetry as original, startling, authentic, even supernatural__and his strongest collection in two decades. Reminiscent of his earliest collections in its earth-and-labor-centered vision, this volume is all the wiser with hindsight. While displaying a similar sensitivity toward humans, the same lyricism (a subway strap is "a stubby black roof-wort"), and a familiar down-to-earth attitude, District and Circle also asks questions about our impact on Earth. La [...]


    20. I pattini di Wordsworth Stella alla finestra. Raschiare d'ardesia. Uccello o ramo?O l’affilatura e la folata dell’acciaio sul placido ghiaccio?Non i pattini senza stivaletti cadutinella polvere di una bacheca,gli attacchi svaniti,ma il loro vorticare sul Windermere ghiacciatomentre sfrecciava dalla presa della terra lungo una svolta lasciandola segnata.Gara di taglio Da fuori tonfi d'asciacome un battere d'ondesul traghetto notturno: tua cui m'attacco, stacco,spaccando legna.


    21. This is a slim volume of poetry, although my favorite was the few pages in the middle of what the author called Found Prose; beautiful short descriptions. Most of the poetry was about the author's rural Irish childhood, but other poems wanders into the American Midwest or to the London Underground. Lushly descriptive, they evoke time and place more completely than anything I've read, or even a sepia-toned photograph. In Saw Music Heaney describes a busker in a store doorway:Flop-wobble grace not [...]


    22. I came to Heaney primarily through the recommendations in my reading of Ted Hughes. He does not disappoint. Plain, hard-hitting lyricism, such as in:"So deeper into it, crowd-swept, strap-hanging,/ My lofted arm a-swivel like a flail,/ My father's glazed face in my own waning/ And craning""District and Circle", last section). And Hughes's sense of the natural, rural world, meshed with the internal, as in: "My heavy head. Bronze-buffed. Eat to the ground./ My eye at turf level. Its snailskin lid. [...]


    23. Gorgeous imagery here--pastoral and transcendent all at once. Those turnips in the shredder! Oh my. Some of my favorite moments:“The strongest of the world’sstretcher-bearers.”“heaven enoughto be going on with.”“flicker-lit.”“Hay being coaxed in handfuls from a ruck.” “Q. Do you renounce the world?A. I do renounce it.”“every warm, mouth-watering word of mouth.”“she was in the swim of herself.”“For the splitter-splatterguttering rain-flirt leaves.”“Think of dar [...]


    24. Well, I mean. It's good. It's solid. Some of it feels a bit writer's exercize-y. But it's filled with the kind of lively word-play, and contrapuntal rhythms that really made him famous. For instance:Sun on ice,white flosson reed and bush,the bridge-iron castin an Advent silenceI drove across,-- from Nonce WordsAnd there's lots of Ireland in it. It's hard not to at least like most of the poems. But then bits like Fiddleheads make you wonder if he's just filling space, just phoning it in.


    25. Although I really liked the concept of the collection, the connection between past and present and the bleakness of an industrial future, I found it was really lacking in the emotion that I like to drive the poetry I read. A few poems touched me, but overall it really fell short of the mark and felt more like it was written for the sake of writing rather than being a collection written from the heart.


    26. Heaney grapples with the clash of the urban and the rural, the ancient and the modern in this, his latest book of poetry. I wouldn't recommend this book to someone new to Heaney's work, as it is much less accessible than some of his earlier works, but after some time to reflect on this book and compare it to his others, I have to say that District and Circle is among my favorites. If you're looking for a place to start with Heaney though, Death of a Naturalist is a much better place to begin.


    27. Its a challenge to read anything by Seamus right now and I am unsure when it will be easy, his death seems to be something I don't wish to acknowledge or believe to be true. I will mark this as read right now but I haven't read it all. Most likely all of my library of his works will for now remain unopened for awhile longer because I am in denial! Seamus who will be our poet now?


    28. Several of the earlier poems in this memoir were rather dull and seemed to describe labor and mechanical things/farming. Later the poems become more complex and interesting. I'm not really sure why there was a need for the poems to progress in order of complexity, which they do."The Tollund Man in Springtime" and "Moyulla" stand out.


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