by Seamus Heaney

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Review

I think Spirit Level is the first entire book of poetry I've read since I was in high school (a long time ago).  I'll venture to read a poem from time to time, but rarely more than that.  It seems to me that I don't have the patience with poetry to understand the meaning in the poems.  I picked this particular volume to read as I'd heard that Seamus Heaney had died in August.

The first few poems were difficult - both due to the subject matter ("the Troubles") and due to have to read them multiple times to begin to understand the meaning.  I fared much better with the poems that recalled childhood, for example "A Sofa in the 40's", even if the memories were not happy as in "The Butter Print".  I also loved the beauty of "The Swing" and the almost brutal honesty of "Weighing In".

I'm not sure I'll be come an avid reader of poetry.  But I do anticipate picking up another volume of Heaney's poems to contemplate.

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