Reflection On Heaney’s Station Island At Down Arts Centre
soothed by just looking, idling over it
as if it were a clear barometer or a mirror, when his reflection
did not appear but I sensed a presence
entering into my concentration…
Published in 1984, Station Island represents a literary pilgrimage for Heaney, as he explores his complex relationship to his homeland, his faith and the past.
The title poem, ‘Station Island’ – steeped as it is in ritual, memory, and ghostly visions – is central to the poet’s autobiographical quest for personal and artistic integrity.
Set on Lough Derg, a place that has been a site of pilgrimage for over a thousand years, this key collection of twelve poems represents the twelve ‘stations’ pilgrims go through to obtain a sense of healing, renewal and peace. In the same way, Heaney imagines his ‘Station Island’ as a symbolic literary retreat to conduct a very personal ‘examination of conscience’.
Directed by the Lyric’s Executive Producer Jimmy Fay, this dynamic performance melds the spoken word, film, and sound to evoke the poet’s process of self-examination.