‘More than any other poet since Wordsworth he can make us understand that the outside world is not outside, but what we are made of.’ John Carey
Originally published in 1969, and reissued in its iconic livery, Seamus Heaney’s second collection, Door into the Dark, pushes further into territory so startlingly opened up in Death of a Naturalist (1966).
These are poems that take us back to the poet’s rural upbringing and a place characterised by its shores and waterways, its unfenced and bottomless boglands. It is a landscape known intimately by the people and creatures who work it – the farmer, the thatcher, the fishermen and eels of Lough Neagh – and by Heaney himself, who, like the blacksmith
he also invokes, ‘expends himself in shapes and music’, forging poems whose physicality and sensuousness proved to be hallmarks of Heaney’s utterly distinctive writing.