Government of the Tongue

Seamus Heaney
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ISBN 9780571141517 Format Paperback
Published 05/06/1989 Length 208 pages

About Book

The title, The Government of the Tongue, carries suggestions of both monastic discipline and untrammelled romanticism, and is meant to raise an old question about the rights and status of poetic utterance itself. Should it be governed? Should it be the governor?

Seamus Heaney here scrutinizes the work of several poets, British and Irish, American and European, whose work is responsive to such strains and tensions.

  • About Seamus Heaney

    Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim.

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