OVERRIDE

District and Circle

Poems

Seamus Heaney

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in 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. Images out of a childhood spent safe from the horrors of World War II – railway sleepers, a sledgehammer, the "heavyweight / Silence" of "Cattle out in rain" – are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous present – a journey on the Underground, a melting glacier – are fraught with this same anxiety.

But District and Circle, which includes a number of 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. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district" – its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts – the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals.
 
District and Circle is the winner of the 2007 Poetry Now award and the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

REVIEWS

Praise for District and Circle

"A book as original , startling and aesthetically compelling as any since his magisterial 1984 sequence, Station Island. " --The Washington Post Book World
 
"[Heaney's] voice carries the authenticity and believability of the plainspoken--even though (herein his magic) his words are anything but plainspoken. His stanzas are dense echo chambers of contending nuances and ricocheting sounds. And his is the gift of saying something extraordinary while, line by line, conveying a sense that this is something an ordinary person might actually say." --Brad Leithauser, The New York Times Book Review

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

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Seamus Heaney

  • Seamus Heaney's first collection, Death of a Naturalist, appeared forty years ago. Since then 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
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Available Formats and Book Details

District and Circle

Poems

Seamus Heaney

Nobel Prize For Literature

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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