'An irresistibly coherent book which celebrates the rising and the raising of the human spirit.' Michael Hofmann, The Times
'If any poetry written today can have this 'redemptive effect' - as Heaney in his critical writing has begun to claim it can - then this is it.' Mick Imlah, Independent on Sunday
As the title suggests, this new collection from the 1995 winner of the Nobel Prize is a study in balance. Heaney reveals how simple things, such as a thimble or a swing, can hold the weight of history-and how history can alter the emotional weight of an object. "Two Lorries" takes the romantic innocence of a coalman's truck, circa 1940, with its driver who stops to flirt with the poet's mother, and measures it against a present-day "heavier, deadlier one, set to explode." Meanwhile, the poems revel in wordplay. A favorite tactic is the repetition of words within a lines or stanzas, which can yield such simplicity as in "Bisected sunlight in the sunlit yard," or be as savvy as a politico's speech: "Like the disregarded ones we turned against/ Because we'd failed them by our disregard." Heaney, at the peak of his career, is the fulcrum of two Irelands: one that is lyrical and lush with tradition and love; another that is ticking and could "catch the heart off guard and blow it open."