An Act of Union


The ruin of Ardvrek Castle, Loch Assynt

When it comes to expressing his country’s hopes Seamus Heaney was adept at using metaphor to explain the longings of a people, the act of sexual congress as good as any. Here is a stanza from his poem, “Act of Union.”

I am the tall kingdom over your shoulder
That you would neither cajole nor ignore.
Conquest is a lie. I grow older
Conceding your half-independent shore
Within whose borders now my legacy
Culminates inexorably.

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