Seamus Heaney, "Oysters" (1976)

Read by Neil Corcoran

Neil Corcoran is Honorary Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor at the University of Liverpool, where he was King Alfred Professor of English until 2010. His book, The Poetry of Seamus Heaney (1998), is recognised as one of the most important studies of the Irish poet.

Editorial Note

Switzerland features only peripherally - if at all - in this poem, in the first two lines of stanza four:

Over the Alps, packed deep in hay and snow,

The Romans hauled their oysters south to Rome [...].

In fact, Hannibal's troups very likely crossed the French and Italian Alps, but not the Swiss Alps. However, we decided to be generous here ...