A Postnationalist Approach
Edited By Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Carmen Zamorano Llena
Irene Gilsenan Nordin Elegy and celebration: Landscape, place and dwelling in th epoetry of Moya Cannon 243
Irene Gilsenan Nordin Elegy and celebration: Landscape, place and dwelling in the poetry of Moya Cannon The poets are everywhere, by their very definition, the guardians of nature, They will either be nature, or they will seek for nature. — Friedrich Schiller Poetry, Surpassing music, must take the place Of empty heaven and its hymns. — Wallace Stevens In his collection of essays, Preoccupations, Seamus Heaney explores a number of central issues concerning the preoccupations of the writer today. Some of the questions addressed are the following: ‘How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage and contemporary world’ (Heaney 1980: 13). He discusses early Irish nature poetry, which was inspired by what he calls ‘The God in the Tree’ – the deep sense of the deity that was immanent, living and breathing everywhere in the natural world. This god is seen in the monastic context as the Christian deity, ‘the giver of life, the sustainer of nature, creator Father and redeemer’, and in the pre-Christian era, as the ‘less doctrinally defined’ god of the Celtic otherworld (Heaney 1980: 186). Thus landscape and place are important, seen as ‘a mode of com- munion, a something other […] to which we ourselves still feel we might belong’, associated with the sense of the sacred, something ‘sacramental, 244 Irene Gilsenan Nordin instinct with signs, implying a system of reality beyond the visible realities’ (Heaney 1980: 132). The close awareness of the...
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