THE MIDNIGHT VERDICT
Published as a limited edition by The Gallery Press in 1993, The Midnight Verdict saw Heaney bring together translations of two passages from Ovid’s Metamorphoses with excerpts from Brian Merriman’s eighteenth-century poem Cúirt an Mheán Oíche. The idea of juxtaposing the three pieces came out of ‘a single impulse’, said the poet in his translator’s note. Each of the translations can be read for its own sake or as part of a triptych. By setting within the acoustic of a classical myth, Heaney added a further chapter to his work as a translator and provided a new and illuminating context for Merriman’s classic work.