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HEANEY, Seamus.

Eleven Poems.

Belfast: Festival Publications, [1965] Stock Code: 145480
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With great Northern-Irish provenance

First edition, second issue (with the ten-point sun symbol), of Heaney's rare first published work, with the notice for his "first book of poems, Death of a Naturalist" to be published in Spring 1966.

Jamison was instrumental in putting on the event that brought Heaney, Longley, and Hammond together on the stage to perform their poems and songs at venues across Ireland.

The very first poem, "Personal Helicon (For Michael Longley)" (whose work appeared in the same Festival Publications series) in its opening and closing lines ("As a child, they could not keep me from wells / and old pumps with buckets and windlasses. / I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky" and "I rhyme / to see myself, to set the darkness echoing") prefigures the Nobel Prize acceptance speech that Heaney would make 30 years later, "I credit poetry ultimately because it can make an order as true to the impact of external reality and as sensitive to the inner laws of the poet's being as the ripples that rippled in and rippled out across the water in that scullery bucket fifty years ago. An order where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew. An order which satisfies all that is appetitive in the intelligence and prehensile in the affections. I credit poetry, in other words, both for being itself and for being a help, for making possible a fluid and restorative relationship between the mind's centre and its circumference."

From the collection, though without ownership inscription, of Heaney's friend J. Kenneth Jamison (1931-2016) who was director of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (1968-1991).

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Single octavo quire. Original wrappers printed in black and dark purple, stapled at the fold.


Light spotting along upper edge of wrappers, else fresh, internally clean; a very good copy indeed.


Brandes & Durkan A1b.


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