poetry & the troubles
The brief for this project called for a response to a particular event or person related to the year 1969.The topic I chose to explore was the Troubles of Northern Ireland, focusing particularly on the way in which Derry native Seamus Heaney expressed the situation through his poetry. The events which unfolded on August 12th 1969, the battle of the Bogside, is believed to be the first major incident of the Troubles and was my starting point.
Through my research I found that Heaney was not concerned with taking sides, rather he wished to speak of the tragedy and violence of the Troubles. He held a mirror up for society to honestly look at the situation and themselves. That is the strength of Seamus Heaneys work: his determination to keep that mirror honest. Many people in the Republic know and care more about Northern Ireland through the world of Heaney’s poems than they ever would through the narrow focus of taught history or political debate.