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The Spirit Level: Poems

Heaney, Seamus

709 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374267790 / ISBN 13: 9780374267797
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First US edition, first printing, the deluxe signed limited edition. One of 200 numbered copies signed by Heaney on the colophon page. A fine copy with just a bit of rubbing to the black printed spine. No dust jacket was issued with this limited edition. It did come with a cassette tape and paper slipcase, neither is present here, just the signed limited book. Bookseller Inventory # 001535

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Spirit Level: Poems

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

In this collection, as ever with Heaney, personal memory and humble domestic objects -- a whitewash brush, a sofa, a swing -- are endowed with talismanic significance, and throughout the collection he addresses his growing concerns, which inevitably include the political situation in his native Northern Ireland, in a poetry that never ceases to be fluid, alert, and completely truthful.

Review:

The title of Seamus Heaney's first collection of poetry since winning the Nobel Prize in 1995 is the term used in Ireland for a carpenter's level, an earthy physical allusion to matters of spirit that is quintessential Heaney. And indeed this volume deals masterfully with the finding of a level balancing point in ethical, moral, and spiritual affairs. Heaney has famously likened his craft to the farming activities of his childhood, comparing his pen to his father's spade; here he extends that analogy, comparing the lines of a poem to furrows being plowed in the earth, and "the poem as ploughshare that turns time/ Up and over." Heaney's furrows are straight and clean, his loamy lines abundantly fertile.

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