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In North, published in 1975 at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Heaney the poet found a way to articulate a vision of Ireland – its people, history and landscape – and to express the trauma in which the country found itself. In its poems, the Irish experience was refracted through images drawn from different parts of Northern Europe, which allowed Heaney to contemplate the violence on his home ground in relation to the Scandinavian and English invasions which had left such an indelible mark on Irish history. A powerful volume that reflected the turbulent times out of which it grew, North was a landmark in both the poet’s career and in Irish cultural life of the period.

‘These poems have all the sensuousness of Heaney’s earlier work, but refined and cut back to the bone’ Anthony Thwaite