The Singer's House Criticism

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Although Heaney's reputation was already strong by the time Field Work was published in 1979, the new volume was hailed by most critics as a powerful and impressive departure from his first four volumes of poetry. Says Ian Hamilton, in a 1987 review of Heaney's The Haw Lantern for the London Review of Books: "It was with his fifth book, Field Work, that Heaney found a voice that is neither bleakly antiquarian nor awkwardly portentous." Still, not everybody liked Field Work, or Heaney, for that matter. In his 1979 review for Parnassus, critic Calvin Bedient notes that Heaney's strong reputation "is astonishing in view of his modest ambition and tone." This negative view of Heaney is by far the minority opinion. In fact, as Helen Vendler says in her 2000 book, Seamus Heaney, much of the negative criticism of Heaney is politically motivated: "Heaney's adversary critics read the poems as statements of...

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This section contains 721 words
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Poetry for Students
The Singer's House from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.