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Widely praised upon its publication in 1987, The Haw Lantern saw Heaney venture into new imaginative territory, with poems exploring the theme of loss – most notably ‘Clearances’, a celebrated sonnet sequence concerning the death of his mother ­– and meditations on the conscience of the writer, such as ‘Alphabets’ and ‘From the Republic of Conscience’. In 2015, Clearances iii ­(‘When all the others were away at Mass’) was voted Ireland’s favourite poem of the past one hundred years.

The Haw Lantern shows Heaney experimenting, enlarging his powers of invention’ Mark Rudman, New York Times