Books · Poetry · Read in 2022 · Reviews

(poetry) Book Thoughts: Wintering Out (Seamus Heaney)

Maybe this will need another read before it clicks


Title: Wintering Out
Author: Seamus Heaney (Northern Ireland/UK)
Genre: Poetry
First published: 1972
Edition: Paperback, published by Faber & Faber

‘Seamus Heaney has gone beyond the themes of his earlier poetry and has made the giant step towards the most ambitious, most intractable themes of maturity. The power of this book comes from a sense that he is reaching out towards a type of desolation and of isolation without which no imagination can be seen to have grown up.’ Eavan Boland, Irish Times


I find poetry notoriously hard to put my thoughts together on. It’s so subjective. To the person, to the mood, even to the moment and what has been read before.

Having recently read some poetry I absolutely loved, this one felt no more than decent for me. There were a few poems in this collection that I really enjoyed and felt, but the majority did not hit home for me this time. They did feel better when I read them out loud and found the cadence in the words.

I know that poetry can hit differently on different days and words that make no sense on a random Sunday in February may flood the mind with meaning on another random day in August. I will definitely read this one again and I do want to read more collections by Seamus Heaney. Sometimes it takes a while for the words to take shape in my mind, and I may just have to read a few by him before I ‘get’ his poetry. I did not feel this one alone gave me enough to understand the poet’s words.

As a poet, respected as he is, Heaney is yet to bowl me over, but this collection did make me want to seek out more, so I guess it made enough of an impact.

4 out of 7 stars

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