Heaney and Bog Bodies Narratives Literary Translation as Archaeology


  • Lydia Stewart


During the late 20th century the Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney sought to use the bog bodies as metaphorical emblems of adversity to express a profound sense of tragedy and to comprehend the underlying drivers of the sectarian violence of his own time in a series of poems known as the ‘bog poems.’ 1 Thus far, no literary inquiry has been undertaken to investigate the archaeological interpretations of the bog bodies. This study aims to do just that in order to optimistically uncover by delving into a literary analysis of the mind of Heaney, the inherent bias entrenched in modern archaeological interpretations of the bog bodies.


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