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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.30 pp.267-286

The Tripartite Cyclical Structure in Seamus Heaney's poetry

Hong Sung Sook


Heaney’s poems seem to build on a tripartite cyclical structure which compriseshome-leaving, wandering and home-coming. This structure is thought to symbolizeexplorations for identity and for the limitlessness and profundity of the universe.And also, this tripartite cyclical structure is thought to symbolize perfection andholiness. And this structure symbolizes the embracement of the dynamic and cyclicalphenomena of our life.
In Death of A Naturalist and Door into Dark the poet explores his ownidentity or his community's one; in Wintering Out, he shows the resistant spiritagainst the violence of Northern Ireland. In North, the persona finally recognizesthat he should leave his home community stricken with violence in order to live inpeace and to be a free artist.
Field Work and Station Island, I think, belong to the stage of wandering: FieldWork shows his new aspect as a naturalist, attempting to settle down in Wicklow,the new shelter. Station Island shows the last destination of his wandering,identifying himself with Sweeney, the symbol of the free artist and finally he comesto fly as a free universal artist.
The poetical works since The Haw Lantern show some aspects of journey back;The Haw Lantern lays out a new blueprint for the Irish Republic as a conscientiouscountry; and Seeing Things searches for the Irish spiritual omphalos that the Irishpeople has been dreamed of, by experimenting a new-style poetry for expressinglight, song, freedom and equality.
My last conclusion is that, although Heaney who had explored his own and hiscommunity's identities could not but leave his home country to write poems in peace and wander in a sense of sin, he has moved toward Uisneach: theperfection and holiness-full Irish utopian land and also the omphalos of Irishpsyche.


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