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Introduction & Overview of The Singer's House by Seamus Heaney

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Singer's House.
This section contains 241 words
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The Singer's House Summary & Study Guide Description

The Singer's House Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Singer's House by Seamus Heaney.

Introduction

Seamus Heaney's poem, "The Singer's House" was first published in his 1979 volume of poetry, Field Work, which was published in both England and America that year. The volume marked a departure from Heaney's earlier poetry volumes, most of which had addressed the modern conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland— often referred to as the Troubles—in an indirect way. However, many of the poems in the new volume, which were written during a period of self-exile from Northern Ireland, demonstrated Heaney's more concentrated attempts to define his role in the Irish conflict. For this reason, many critics singled out Field Work as the transitional point in Heaney's poetry career.

In "The Singer's House," Heaney uses his poetic abilities to appeal to another artist—his singer friend, David Hammond. The poem was written after Hammond canceled a recording session, following a terrorist bombing. Heaney wanted to encourage Hammond that his voice counts, and that it was important for Hammond to inspire his fellow Irish countrymen and -women with his songs. Heaney was hoping to inspire a revival in Irish language and literature, which had been largely replaced over the centuries by the language and culture of British colonizers. A current copy of the poem can be found in Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996, which was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1999. This collection also includes the lecture that Heaney gave after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.

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This section contains 241 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Singer's House Study Guide
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The Singer's House from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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