I have to admit, even as I hate doing it, that the only Heaney I have read prior picking up this book is his translation of Beowulf.
To say that the poems in this collection are good would be correct. They are bag of Irish life, ancient myth, and family life. It is the Irish ones and “Mycenae Lookout” that tend to be the most powerful. The power of Mycenae Lookout is obvious. It is about Troy, told from various views, including a solider waiting for the return of his king and fellow soldiers even as he knows that the king’s welcome isn’t assured at all.
“Two Lorries” is about, well, two lorries, one whom was in fact. It is a powerful comment on the Troubles and the fight for Irish independence. It is the type of poem you read and cannot forget.
Reading this small volume you realize how great Heaney was.