Heaney's Sonnets: Wordsworth and Yeats in Glanmore

Stephen Grace


This essay considers the significance of the sonnet to Seamus Heaney's early career development. Setting the formal strategies of the 'Glanmore Sonnets' alongside the ideas articulated in Heaney's early-seventies essays such as 'Feeling into Words' (1974), 'The Makings of a Music' (1978) and 'Yeats as an Example?' (1978), I argue that the sonnet emerges out of, but transforms, Heaney's understanding of history and memory, and trace the particular significance of William Wordsworth and W.B.Yeats to these transformations.


Seamus Heaney; William Wordsworth; Sonnet; Memory; History

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Works Cited

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