The Spirit Level

Poems

Seamus Heaney

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

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The Spirit Level was the first book of poems Heaney published after winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. Reviewing this book in The New York Times Book Review, Richard Tillinghast noted that Heaney "has been and is here for good . . . [His poems] will last. Anyone who reads poetry has reason to rejoice at living in the age when Seamus Heaney is writing."

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Reviews

Praise for The Spirit Level

"This is . . . not just a new book but a book with newness in it, as all Heaney's collections have been. It marks a sustained effort, not exactly to unite the two parts of himself and his cultural inheritance but rather to make the line between them more permeable than before."--Nicholas Jenkins, The Times Literary Supplement

"So many of [Heaney's] poems have become personal lodestones for us that reading this new book is like awakening to an experience both fresh and familiar. From his earliest poems, he has presented the ordinary sensations of the physical world radiantly, causing us to hear the 'clean new music' of a voice calling down into a well, showed us the 'sloped honeycomb' of a thatched roof or the tactile wholesomeness of 'new potatoes that we picked / Loving their coolhardness in our hands' . . . Thoroughly grounded as he is in what Richard Wilbur, using a phrase from religious texts, simply and memorably called 'the things of this world,' this son of an Irish farming family offers a vision that is a powerful tonic against the fin de siecle alienation and solipsism touted by fashionable literary criticism."--Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review

"Heaney's craftsmanship is at its most variable. There are poems that approach the sardonic leanness of those eastern European writers his essays so often celebrate. The fifth section of 'The Thimble,' for example, simply reads: 'And so on.' Elsewhere, the language may be layered extra thickly, with adjectives and nouns melding into foursomes."--Carol Rumens, New Statesman & Society

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 received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.

Seamus Heaney

Keith Barnes
Seamus Heaney

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Spirit Level
Poems
Seamus Heaney

Award

Whitbread Book Award - Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
April 1997
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374525118
ISBN10: 0374525110
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: 9781466855748
ISBN10: 1466855746
96 pages
$7.99
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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