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Heaneys first poetry collection was the prizewinning Death of a Naturalist 1966 In this book and Door into the Dark 1969 he wrote in a traditional style about a passing way of life--that of domestic rural life in Northern Ireland In Wintering Out 1972 and North 1975 he began to encompass such subjects as the violence in Northern Ireland and contemporary Irish experience though he continued to view his subjects through a mythic and mystical filter Among the later volumes that reflect Heaneys honed and deceptively simple style are Field Work 1979 Station Island 1984 The Haw Lantern 1987 and Seeing Things 1991 His Selected Poems 1966-1987 also was published in 1991 The Spirit Level 1996 concerns the notion of centredness and balance in both the natural and the spiritual senses Heaney also wrote essays on poetry and poets including such figures as William Wordsworth Gerard Manley Hopkins and Robert Lowell Some of these essays appeared in Preoccupations Selected Prose 1968-1978 1980 A collection of his lectures at Oxford was published as The Redress of Poetry 1995 The Cure at Troy 1991 is Heaneys version of Sophocles Philoctetes and a later volume The Midnight Verdict 1993 contains translations of selections from Ovids Metamorphoses and from Cirt an mheadhon oidhche The Midnight Court a work by the 18th-century Irish writer Brian Merriman Seamus Heaney b 1939 may be no less moved by nationalist fervour than Montague but the movement seems to be in sensibilities more finely gifted Heaneys bleak volume North 1975 is informed with the idea of poetry as almost a mode of power certaqinly a mode of resistance against colonization But a poem like Punishment about IRA disciplining of collaborators torn as it is between complicity with civilized outrage and barbaric justice the exactand tribal intimate revenge and appearing in the end to confess a primitive stance does so in such a way as to brand his tribe as no better than
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