Heaney’s poetry combine pictures of ancient Ireland with modern times


Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) is an Irish nationalist poet. Heaney’s Poetry Combines the pictures of Ancient Ireland with those of Modern Times. Seamus Heaney is a patriotic poet of Ireland. He knows very well the bloodiest and most glorious Irish history and uses this in his poetry to represent the contemporary political situation.  

 After the immediate publication of “Door in the Dark”, Northern Ireland fell into civil disorder. Again, the proverb becomes true that History repeats itself. Day after day the conflict intensified, and it became more and more bloody.  

 Heaney portrays that crisis in his poetry. He returns again and again throughout his poetry to the contemporary political situation like the most famous Irish nationalist poet, W.B Yeats. Heaney combines the past and the present of Ireland from his thirstiness. He suggests a way for the betterment of the future.  

Representation of The Irish Tradition   

Heaney’s poetic description of bogs is examined to illuminate how Heaney endeavors to dig up ethnic memory from the Irish bogland. Bogland, a part of Seamus Heaney’s bog poems, carries many of Seamus Heaney’s themes and motifs inside of it. Some of these are, Irish Culture and time. Bogland” is heavily influenced by the writer’s rural upbringing and reflects his close ties to the Irish landscape.  

It refers to the people of the past, present, and future of Ireland. The poet writes about the pioneers who dig downwards and finds mythology and history layer after layer. The pioneer’s search for the Irish heritage and the bog is represented as the heritage.  

More Notes:  Seamus Heaney

The link between ancient and modern times  

As a civil-rights activist, Heaney sets out in pursuit of a pure Ireland in his earlier collections such as Death of a Naturalist and Door into the Dark. The poems in these two collections reflect his romantic nostalgia for a unified, innocent Ireland. One of the most important motives of Heaney’s work is his search for Irishness. This motif is most eminently explored particularly in his poems concerning digging and bogland, each category of which is respectively based on rural traditions and archaeological facts. The digging poems expose the uniqueness of Irish country life; the bog poems treat Ireland’s special landscape of that scene as a symbol of an ethnic consciousness.  

The poem Bogland establishes the bog as the source of all Irish memory and ancestry. It links the present to the past through the constancy of the land, as  

butter sunk under 

more than a hundred years 

was recovered salty and white. 

 The “Bog queen” links ancient and modern Ireland. Her body is discovered in a bog near Belfast in the eighteenth century. She is the symbol of mother Ireland.   

More Notes: Suggestions


Seamus Heaney in his poetry combines the pictures of ancient times with modern Ireland with his expert hands. Seamus’s main intention for these combining is to show the cynical nature and troubles of the Irish.  

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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