Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Inishbofin. One of many small islands off the west coast of Ireland, the site of medieval monastic settlements. The speaker in the book’s title poem imaginatively likens the boat that travels to the island to that of Charon, the ferryman who carries souls across the mythical River Styx.
*Glanmore. Location in County Wicklow, south of Dublin. The sonnet sequence “Glanmore Revisited” updates the “Glanmore Sonnets” which appeared in Heaney’s 1976 collection Field Work. Heaney derives renewal from the quiet, natural setting, moving from feelings of being under siege in the first sonnet to the lifting of spirits in “Lustral Sonnet” and “The Skylight.”
*Dungannon. Town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. In “A Retrospect,” a character points out nearby Glenshane Pass, quoting a seventeenth century British military dispatch comparing the local inhabitants to “Virgil’s ghosts.”
*Clonmacnoise (klahn-mak-NOYZ). Monastery established in the sixth century south of Athlone along the River Shannon in central Ireland. For centuries the monks here produced or preserved various illuminated manuscripts and also kept records of daily life, from which Heaney amplifies the anecdote related in “Squarings.”
*Lough Neagh (lock nay). Largest lake in the British Isles, located in Northern Ireland, a place of fascination and reminiscence for Heaney.
*Giant’s Causeway. Natural rock formation on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland, where massive hexagonal pillars of stone appear to have been placed or fitted in conjunction with each other, as if by some “giant.”
*Coleraine (kole-RAYN). Township on the River Bann in Northern Ireland. Heaney uses the place as a landmark for personal and poetic revelation in “Squarings.”