Human Chain

Poems

Seamus Heaney

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A Boston Globe Best Poetry Book of 2011
Winner of the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize
Winner of the 2011 Poetry Now Award

Seamus Heaney’s new collection elicits continuities and solidarities, between husband and wife, child and parent, then and now, inside an intently remembered present—the stepping stones of the day, the weight and heft of what is passed from hand to hand, lifted and lowered. Human Chain also broaches larger questions of transmission, of lifelines to the inherited past. There are newly minted versions of anonymous early Irish lyrics, poems that stand at the crossroads of oral and written, and other “hermit songs” that weigh equally in their balance the craft of scribe and the poet’s early calling as scholar. A remarkable sequence entitled “Route 101” plots the descent into the underworld in the Aeneid against single moments in the arc of a life, from a 1950s childhood to the birth of a first grandchild. Other poems display a Virgilian pietas for the dead—friends, neighbors, family—that is yet wholly and movingly vernacular.

Human Chain also includes a poetic “herbal” adapted from the Breton poet Guillevic—lyrics as delicate as ferns, which puzzle briefly over the world of things and landscapes that exclude human speech, while affirming the interconnectedness of phenomena, as of a self-sufficiency in which we too are included

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Reviews

In the Press

Celebrating the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney | Work in Progress
Seamus Heaney’s death last week left a rift in our lives, and in poetry, that won’t easily be mended. A Nobel Laureate, a devoted husband, a sharp translator, a beloved friend, and the big-hearted leader of the “Government of the Tongue,” Seamus was a poet of conscience...
- FSG's Work in Progress


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About the Author

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney was born in Northern Ireland. He has published poetry, criticism, and translations that have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Seamus Heaney

Keith Barnes
Seamus Heaney

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Available Formats and Book Details

Human Chain
Poems
Seamus Heaney

Award

Nobel Prize For Literature, Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlist

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
September 2010
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374173517
ISBN10: 0374173516
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 96 pages
$24.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
August 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374533007
ISBN10: 0374533008
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 96 pages
$13.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
January 2014
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466855670
ISBN10: 1466855673
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 96 pages
$9.27
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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