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The Spirit Level: Poems

Heaney, Seamus

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ISBN 10: 0374267790 / ISBN 13: 9780374267797
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From MODLITBOOKS (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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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


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.


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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